Fire and Photography

In class we have talked about photographing water, whether it is in the form of streams, waves, waterfalls, rivers, or so forth, but what about water’s opposite? That’s right, fire. We have talked about sparklers, lightening, fireworks, and light, but what about actual flames?

I was on StumbleUpon.com a few days ago when while stumbling through photographs I found these pretty unique pictures of people playing with fire. I found it interesting and decided to investigate a little bit more about fire and photography.

Now I am fully aware that the people using fire in the pictures above are probably professionals, but even the average photographer could be around flames from matches, candles, fireplaces, or campfires and want to capture them.  Or maybe some of you want to become a photojournalist and that could expose you to situations with building fires, flames in a war zone, or maybe even wildfires. So here are some tips for taking pictures of fire or flames that I found online:

  1. Turn off your flash- This will help you capture the warm glow of the flames
  2. If you are trying to freeze the action occurring then have a shutter speed of 1/60thor higher
    1. Use a high ISO setting with faster shutter speeds when photographing fire
  3. If you are trying to blur the flames or make a pathway of light (i.e. the second photograph above) use a longer (slower) shutter speed. This allows the shutter to be opened for more time allowing more light inside.
    1. This is especially helpful with campfires. It allows the main source of the fire to blur, but also gives time for sparks flickering off to leave a trail as well.
  4. When using a slower shutter speed, especially below 1/60th use a tripod or a sturdy surface to hold the camera

These photographs and more can be found at:

http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/30-captivating-fire-dancing-photos/

and

http://www.visualswirl.com/inspiration/22-dazzling-examples-of-fire-photography/

Sources for tips on how to photograph fire can be found at:

http://www.digital-photography-school.com/playing-with-fire-how-to-photograph-fire

and

http://www.steves-digicams.com/knowledge-center/how-tos/photography-tips/how-to-photograph-fire.html

I also suggest trying StumbleUpon.com and stumbling through the topic of photography. There are some amazing photographs, techniques, and ideas that can be found purely by chance when you hit the stumble button.

Danielle DellaCamera

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