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Galawen


member
Location: USA

Total posts: 45
Posted:Hello All,I was wondering if there are any flame photographers out there. Please share your advice. Me and my friend spin flaming staves and I want to capture the moment. I read the filming articles and they are good general advice but I am looking for more detailed advice.Flame on.-------------------------------------------Give Me FuelGive Me FireGive Me That Which I Desire-MetallicA

Give Me FuelGive Me FireGive Me That Which I Desire-MetallicA

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Pele'sWhippingBoy


member
Location: Rochester, NY, USA

Total posts: 442
Posted:Feel free to check out the pics I took of Pele. http://www.pyromorph.com
Recommendations will depend on what you're going for. We wanted portfolio shots. I placed the camera on a tri pod. No flash and the fastest setting my camera has. I had her stand still and do a specific move. This allowed many of the shots to come out very well. Having a digital helps to figure out what shutter speed works best. The longer the shutter's open the longer the fire trails. If they're too long they can sometimes get jumbled. Also you'll get more blur in your target and they may look funny.Feel free to ask questions. I spent some time on this and I think the shots came out quite nicely.------------------"Except for that Mrs. Lincoln, How did you like the play?"


FYI: I am not Pele. If you wish to reply to me and use a short version of my name, use: PWB.

English? Who needs that? I'm never going to England. - Homer Jay Simpson

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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:I've shot a mess of firedancing pictures (at http://www.imagestation.com/members/adamrice),
which will help put my advice in context.My advice.1. Get a tripod.2. No, really, get a tripod.3. Like PWB says, a digicam is nice because it frees you up to experiment.4. I normally set mine to ASA 400 and auto-exposure, which, under the low-light conditions I'm shooting in, always opens the aperture all the way to minimize exposure time. Exposures are still pretty long--from 1/8th sec to 1 sec.5. Generally avoid flash. It kills the fire-trail and the pictures look static. If you have a "slow synch" flash setting, though (and you are in the flash's range) you can get some good effects from that. This gives you a long exposure and fires the flash at the end.6. Shoot a lot of pictures. Photographing a firedancer is like herding cats--you don't have that much control. So good pictures will be the result of serendipity and instinct as much as anything.7. If your camera has autofocus, pre-focus to minimize lag when you are ready to shoot. This is a problem if the subject moves around a lot, though.


Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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Posted:Oh, Pele, I've been so slack. I didn't even know about your new site. BEAUTIFUL! Very nice design, good choice of photos. More! More! More! The only thing, and I do mean the only, is that clicking on the butterfly on the upper left brings up the hug instead. Diana

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Superman
BRONZE Member since Mar 2001

Superman

member
Location: Houston, Texas, USA

Total posts: 829
Posted:nice clean pics of PELE...i likes.. Super'------------------"Only the warrior that hears the call will know when to leave, Where to go" -unknown"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dreams"- Willy Wonka

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear--not absence of fear.


- Mark Twain

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Galawen


member
Location: USA

Total posts: 45
Posted:Adamrice, I have a tripod, also I have alot of camera experience. What I wanted to know actually was what apeture setting to shoot at. Normally I would shoot at the most open I can get, Is this a good idea?And Pele'sWhippingBoy, how did you do that shot of the guy going on fire like that?Fire on------------------Give Me FuelGive Me FireGive Me That Which I Desire-MetallicA

Give Me FuelGive Me FireGive Me That Which I Desire-MetallicA

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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:CF--If you can pull an accurate focus, depth of field really isn't a big issue when shooting firedancing--if anything you'd want to minimize it, so as to blur out peripheral stuff. So yeah, open your aperture all the way (the lens on my camera only opens to f2.8--faster would be better). If you can't, more depth of field would give you a little slack.If you are shooting with film, try ASA 800 or 1,000. That'll give you some flexibility. Also, IMHO, the best pictures I've taken have been ones where there was a little ambient light, rather than absolute blackness.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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Pele'sWhippingBoy


member
Location: Rochester, NY, USA

Total posts: 442
Posted:I fixed the butterfly pic. Thanks Diana.All of the fire pics are of Pele. For the tower, she's blowing straight up and drops to her knees. "The knee thing." It works really well for a website opener and a performance finale.This is the issue with exposure. It only kept the brightest parts. I found that my digital doesn't work too well to capture the contrasts in the flame itself. A friend took some pics of her blowing a while back and you could see the variations within the fireball. But this camera worked quite well for the dancing pics.FYI, I use a Canon Digital Elph S100.I took lots more, but Pele and I are still arranging them for the website. I also took some pics of someone using a set of glowsticks. I used a longer exposure and they turned out nice. Long trails of blue and green light. I'll try to get those up somewhere eventually.------------------"Except for that Mrs. Lincoln, How did you like the play?"[This message has been edited by Pele'sWhippingBoy (edited 28 June 2001).]

FYI: I am not Pele. If you wish to reply to me and use a short version of my name, use: PWB.

English? Who needs that? I'm never going to England. - Homer Jay Simpson

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Total posts: 3989
Posted:I have to agree with the "take as many phots as fast as you can" ploy. Fire never looks the same twice, but don't forget the habit of flame to look like a solid block when it burns (he he he
Non-Https Image Link
) onto thefilm. I had a professional photgrapher use up a whole roll on me one night, and the three best can be found at juggling.co.nz, under "fire staff". Make sure you go to the bottom and click the "adjust brightness" button, otherwise you won't see the scale of the top one (or me!!). Check out the one at the top which was just pure fluke, she admitted as much afterwards.PS Yes, TRIPOD always always always use a tripod...[This message has been edited by Charles (edited 28 June 2001).]


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firestarter


member
Location: San Francisco, CA USA

Total posts: 2
Posted:Excellent advice everyone....1) tripod ... definately2) open aperature to widest setting and use a high ISO (400, 800, 1000)3) one other cool nifty trick that i highly recommend is to 'pop the flash' after a long exposure. i've done this before and it turns out great. here's what you do :: leave the shutter open for as long as your intuition tells you (this is a trial and error thing as people in this string have been mentioning). then, when you see an expression on your friend spinning fire that you like you pop the flash, then release the shutter. this popping the flash action freezes the subject for an instant, so you get their expression admist the trails of fire -- pretty darn cool =)~sierra~

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Posted:I recently discovered the amazing rush of fire spinning, I am however a photographer who has little to no experience shooting flames, especially with the nights contrast.I just discovered this discussion group and must say that it's totally helpfull. My reply is a bit late but thanks for the great advice. I guess it's safe to say(depending on what you want the final results to be): * A tripod is necessary for stability * A higher ASA film for shorter trails, and a sharper yet grainier print * Lower ASA for longer trails and a softer, less grainy print * No auto focus for a more consistant image or when lots of movement is involvedQuestion: Has anyone tried using coloured filters on the camera lens? If so, did you like the results?

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SteelWngs
BRONZE Member since Aug 2001

SteelWngs

member
Location: Malden, Massachusetts United S...

Total posts: 169
Posted:Using Long Shutter SpeedsA little advice for long exposure photography. Shooting subjects in low light such as moonlit landscapes and dimly lit interiors by available light require exposures that are much too long for handholding your camera, but the results are worth the added effort. You can fill a highway with car lights, record multiple bursts of fireworks, smooth out turbulent water, even make moving subjects disappear altogether. Many SLRs and high-end point-and-shoot cameras can time exposures up to 4 or 8 seconds automatically. Some top-of-the-line SLRs may let you go up to 30 seconds or more. But even if your camera doesn't have this capability, it will usually have either a B (bulb) setting or a T (time) setting. The differences are that with B, the shutter remains open as long as you hold down the shutter release while at T, you press the release once to open the shutter, then press it a second time to close it. Either way permits keeping your shutter open as long as you like. How long should you leave your shutter open? When your objective is to record a dimly lit scene, determine your exposure as you would for a well-lit scene. With sufficient ambient light and fairly even illumination, you may be able to use your in-camera meter. But if some areas are much brighter than others, take a reading of the bright spots with a spotmeter or by metering something nearby of equal brightness. Probably the best way to handle the exposure problem is to bracket. When it comes to creative long exposures, there isn't one right shutter speed for a particular effectpictures taken at different settings can all be interesting. Shoot five or six frames, doubling the time for each and adjusting your lens aperture to keep exposure constant. To blur movement, begin with an exposure of 1/4 sec, then go to 1/2, 1, 2, 4, and 8 seconds. To make long exposures in daylight, you'll need either a slow film (ISO 50) or a neutral density filter to reduce light reaching your film. Make sure that your camera is on a solid support such as a tripod. A cable release can help prevent blurring caused by jarring the camera when you release the shutter. However, you may want to handhold your camera to create special effects such as abstract light patterns or streaks. During a long exposure, you can deliberately move your camera or, if you use a zoom lens, vary the focal length. You can also try using various special effects filters such as stars or diffraction gratings. There is no formula for long-exposure photography. Much will depend on experience and your imagination. Incidentally, if you are taking a long exposure and auto headlights move into the scene, just hold your hand or a piece of cardboard in front of the lens until the intruding vehicle has passed. ------------------Blessings to all, Peter "There is a rhythm that unites us with the natural world. The more we learnto feel that rhythm and get it into the mainstream of our lives, thestronger can be our spirit."--- Robert Rodale

Blessings to all,
Peter
When you find yourself in the company of a halfling and an ill-tempered Dragon, remember, you do not have to outrun the Dragon ...you just have to outrun the halfling.

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