Forums > Technical Discussion > Takeing great photos of poi on my own

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ShlomoPLATINUM Member
Peace comes from Love which can be found in Flow.
10 posts
Location: Atlanta, Ga, USA

I have a Pentax K 20 d with both a 62 mm Pentax 1:3-6:3 18-250mm lens and a Pentax macro lens with 1:2.8 100mm
what lens should i use for taking Poi pics?
how long should i set the shutter for?
and whats the best way to focus it by my self when i dont have a tripod

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astonSILVER Member
Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
4,061 posts
Location: South Africa

Probably not the macro lens, since those are for really close up work, yeah?

Shutter depends on a lot things. If the camera can flash before, after or during a long exposure, then do a long exposure with slow shutter speed and low aperture and the flash will fill out the person.

Otherwise, I have very little advice on that sort of thing....

As for a tripod, any solid that you can rest the camera on will be good: a table/wall/large wheel of cheese/whatever with a bean bag or something should work. If you have someone else taking them, a monopod is reasonable as well....

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DurbsBRONZE Member
Classically British
5,688 posts
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England

The best shutter speed is really "Bulb" if you have it - then you can open the shutter when a pattern starts and release it at the end, very useful for capturing specific moves/patterns.

For focusing - if you're on your own, leave a prop burning on the ground where you'll be spinning, go to the camera and set-up the focus (Manual focus is a must) and then that should be ok as long as you stay spinning in that location.

Personally I don't go for exposures over 2 seconds as it just gets too busy with flame, unless you're doing a moving shot when running from one place to another.

Macro probably won't focus far enough away for this purpose, but the large aperture that it has would make for some nice crisp flame pics.

The key thing to think of is what kind of picture you want; long trails showing the patterns, shots which show the performer off as well as some trails, quick shots capturing great flame detail (e.g. burn-offs).

Then you can consider using a flash or not, to show the performer in more detail. Generally "Rear curtain" flash is best for this, where it fires the flash at the end of the exposure, not at the beginning.

Take a browse through FlickR of fire shots - on the lower right of the page it should have "Taken With: Camera type" and then "More properties" - click on this and it should tell you what f-stop, shutter speed, focal length etc. was used - so you can see what difference these make in advance.

Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
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