Tag Archives: fire
One of the shots I managed to take last week was of a single flame. There were no other light sources and it came out quite well on a naturally black canvas, and when I looked at it within Lightroom it looked very much like half of a skull – or at least I thought so.
I duplicated and flipped it, and then merged it together with the original with a few tweaks to get this fun flaming skull image.
Enjoy the weekend everyone.
My new nickname for Tony is ‘Hot Lips’, you can see why in this image, another one taken from our night of attempted fire breathing. Have I mentioned this was Tony’s (alleged) first time ever doing this? Some people have skillz.
Something has happened with these fire images that has made me a little confused. They look great for me on my MacBook Pro. However I managed to view one on a colleagues monitor the other day and was not impressed by them due to the fact they were really much lighter than I had processed and a lot of detail lost to me when creating it was visible (and horrible) on another monitor. I know there is a lot that goes into calibration, but I’m just hoping that people are seeing what I’m seeing and not the mess that I saw when viewing with a colleague.
The only way I could really replicate seeing the issues on the MacBook, in order to try and clean it up, was to push the add a curves adjustment layer in Photoshop and push the lines up as high as they would go.
The additional worry is what if there are other images from my past which look terrible and I just haven’t realised.
Here’s another image of Tony doing his thing from Friday night’s fire breathing attempts. We had started by using a few speedlites but after a bit of rapid shooting this shot came out in between the flashes going off and turned out to be much better, I feel, than some of those with additional light. It seems fire is pretty bright and what wasn’t originally coming out in such a dark location from a couple of speedlites was soon more than compensated for when those flames got going.
As with many things, I think practice is needed. It took me way too long to establish the settings I required for a decent exposure in such light. Like spinning wool I think the novelty will wear off quickly, but the location that it is performed in will be what makes a shot, so any future fire breathing will need to be done from such a location as to add interest.
None of us had ever tried this before, so armed with a torch (both the usual battery operated ones, plus one we had the intention of igniting), a couple of litres of fuel and a few bottles of water we made our way into the fort by night and found a suitable location. I was terrible at it…though quite good at extinguishing the flaming torch. John was better, but admittedly not great. Tony, however, was awesome and must have been a dragon in a former life. He managed to get some amazing flames and balls of fire going, and as this was his first attempt at it I can’t wait to see how this improves over time, especially as it took a bit of trial and error tot get the camera settings right.
This shot is of Tony doing his thing.
Alright, the first thing I have to do is admit that this is not a fire station; it’s a disused train depot. However, the vibrant red colour, and the addition of a fire extinguishers sure makes this image feel as if it is an old fire station so I’m rolling with it.
I’ve shown a photo of these stairs previously from straight on, but when we returned to this location last weekend I really wanted to shoot them again from an angle, we got lucky and had some great light that day also.
I hope you all have a great weekend.
At the weekend I took another trip to a disused train tunnel in East London. It was my third trip there, and my third attempt at light play such as spinning steel wool.
I certainly find locations easier to shoot when I have been there before. My first trip to a new UrbEx location usually has me being a little cautious. I tread in the common places, don’t wish to disturb anything, always listening and watching for others, and so on. However, if I go to a location more than once it becomes a little bit more comfortable and I can think more about the photography than about the event allowing for better composition. Of course, practising something and knowing from having seen the images from previous attempts on the PC always help you to improve on things, so I guess as well as being more comfortable I have a better idea, also, of the type of shot I wish to nail.
So, the first trip into this tunnel was a steelwoolfest as it was our first attempt at spinning. We were caught up in the occasion, and the sparks made us giggle like school girls holding sparklers. It took us a packet of wool to realise a roll could last around 3 spins rather than using a whole roll at once. It took a little longer to realise shorter exposures are better than fitting everything into one long exposure.
On the second trip to the tunnel I was with another friend and we concentrated more on light painting than on spinning wool – especially as the wool wasn’t burning very well that day and the wind coming through the tunnel pretty much blew my lighter out on each attempt.
This third trip, however, was pretty cool. We played with a little light painting, and our spinning seemed to be a lot better. I was able to make circles better than the other attempts (I put this down to the dog leash being used instead of a piece of rope which had been cutting through my fingers previously). We also decided not to stand in just one spot which made a big difference to the visuals also.
Of course with complacency comes danger, and I have a nice burn hole in one of the garments I was wearing due to an over enthusiastic attempt to change the spinning direction mid rotation. I must remember my ‘safety first’ motto in future.
The image above was taken over a 41 second exposure; the first 15-20 seconds or so were spent lighting up the tunnel, not that you can really tell due to the sparkage (though you can just see the train track at the bottom right), and the rest of the time was my lighting the wool and walking towards the camera in the dark whilst spinning it.
It sure was fun to create!