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    As the New Year approaches, most of us will be filling our Instagram pages with pictures of sparkly party outfits and good times with loved ones. But as the countdown to midnight begins, there’s often a frantic scramble to grab your smartphone to capture that perfect firework photo. Unfortunately, it rarely turns out to be Instagram-worthy.

    This year, you’re in luck.

    It’s well-known that the Xperia™ XZ2 Premium captures stunning, clear photos in ultra low-light. Thanks to its 19MP Motion Eye™ dual camera with AUBE™ fusion image signal processor, users are able to capture more than the eye can see – a huge perk when it comes to all the colourful light flecks created when a firework explodes. It also has a large aperture of F1.8, letting lots of light reach the Exmor RS™ sensor to expose the image. Why does this matter? Well, it means the surrounding area will be as dark as possible, making the firework explosion stand out.

    We put the XZ2 Premium to the test at our own fireworks display to give you our top tips for taking envy-inducing firework photographs!

    Fireworks, taken with the XZ2 Premium

    Keep a steady hand
    We all know a steady hand is key for good photography, but when it comes to fireworks, it’s even more important to ensure you don’t end up with a big red blob for a photo. If you do have a smartphone tripod, now is the time to use it. Don’t worry if you don’t own one, you can always set your phone on a hard surface, sit yourself down or lean on a wall to stabilise yourself.

    A green firework lights up the sky

    Don’t use flash
    Ever found yourself frantically trying to decide whether to use flash and then ended up missing the big rocket launching in the night sky? We’ve all been there. The solution? Just don’t use flash! The sky is a large, dark space and camera flashes are unable to illuminate it enough to justify having it on. Plus, leaving your flash off means that the camera will pick up all the colourful sparks bursting into the sky.

    Avoid zoom
    You might feel tempted to make the fireworks look bigger in the sky with zoom, but you might not capture the quality and detail you’re after (even with the XZ2 Premium’s brilliant x8 Digital Zoom capabilities).

    A portrait image of fireworks

    Check the settings
    The XZ2 Premium’s camera automatically adjusts to its surroundings but you will want to double check that HDR is turned off as a long exposure could mean you miss those fast-shooting rockets.

    Use Burst mode
    Timing is crucial for nailing a good shot. Luckily for you, the XZ2 Premium is equipped with Predictive Capture, meaning it will automatically take photos the instant an object enters the camera frame. What’s more, you can use Burst mode to capture multiple consecutive photos by holding your finger down on the capture button. Handy, right?

    Add variety
    Whilst you might be tempted to continuously point your camera at the sky, try adding some variety to your shots by moving around. An example of this could be choosing to focus on the crowd around you and having the fireworks create a colourful backdrop. This will add an extra element and dimension to your shots and ensure your Instagram post stands out from all the other firework pictures on your feed.

    We would love to see how you get on at your New Year’s Eve fireworks display. Tweet us your best pictures @SonyMobileNews!