Playing with fire

by Helen Hooker May. 09, 2017 2009 views

Every year Bishop's Stortford Camera Club holds a meeting during our summer season which is affectionately known as the evening where we set fire to Brian, our membership secretary.  Of course we don't really set him alight but Brian is always very keen to set fire to wire wool and spin it around his head so we can photograph it!  This year we convened at a new venue, with a lake to provide some reflections in our photos.  Brian came armed with lots of wire wool, several whisks (into which you insert the wool before setting it alight) and a long dog lead to keep the flames at a safe distance - all vital ingredients for spark photography.  

A little experimentation led me to a ten second exposure time - long enough to capture the sparks and short enough for the surroundings to become completely dark.  I've played around with the colours a little before posting them here.  The first picture is pretty much as it came out of the camera, although I've enhanced the blue glow created by some neon signs in the background.  However, with the other two I've tweaked the white balance and added a little selective colour to give a different effect.  The final image was taken away from the lake, with Brian and Grant swinging the burning wire wool above their heads in tandem.  I love the effect it creates as the sparks bounce along the ground - they almost seem like enormous alien spiders creeping towards the camera!

9 May 2017

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Ivan Steenkamp 4 years ago

I really like #3. The sparks landing and bouncing on the ground looks really cool!

4 years ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Ivan Steenkamp 4 years ago

Thanks Ivan! It was great fun to do - I made sure my camera stayed out of reach of the sparks though!

4 years ago Edited
Ivan Steenkamp Replied to Helen Hooker 4 years ago

Great. I also want to try out the same technique some time in the future. I'll sure make a post of it then!

4 years ago Edited
Jay Boggess 4 years ago

WOW! Exciting series! Great shots!

4 years ago Edited
Anett Bay 4 years ago

wow! Yes, the reflection!

4 years ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Anett Bay 4 years ago

Thanks Anett!

4 years ago Edited
Jim Hooker 4 years ago

Brilliant, in every sense.

4 years ago Edited
Antonio Gil 4 years ago

Very cool effects.

4 years ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Antonio Gil 4 years ago

Thanks Antonio - we had such fun!

4 years ago Edited
Kay Hooker 4 years ago


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Carl Schraefel 4 years ago

Holy Smokes! These are amazing!

4 years ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Carl Schraefel 4 years ago

Lol, thanks Carl!

4 years ago Edited
- Kim - 4 years ago

Nice! Thanks for sharing how you got those images.

4 years ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to - Kim - 4 years ago

My pleasure - thanks Kim!

4 years ago Edited
Stephanie Hyde 4 years ago

Awesome...the reflection just takes it to the next level!

4 years ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Stephanie Hyde 4 years ago

Thanks Stephanie!

4 years ago Edited
Rich Myers 4 years ago


4 years ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Rich Myers 4 years ago

Thank you Rich!

4 years ago Edited