I’ve been intrigued by the shapes and forms smoke makes as I have written about before. This time I was inspired by Michael (DaddyO) over at dgrin to look closer at fire. It turns out to be just like smoke photography with a lot of wonderful forms and shapes hidden in the warmth.
The technique though is quite different, here exposure is quite difficult. You want the warmth and dynamic range of the fire while still keeping the sharpness and depth. So, small aperture and short exposure time…only variable left is ISO. Still, you may not have to go that high with your ISO and still get good pictures with little or no noise in them.
The editing part is fun and, at the same time, frustrating. I often tend to rotate the picture for a while to find the shapes I want. Then, quite often, mirror it to get the final shape I want. There is something disturbing with a perfectly mirrored image so in the end I usually remove, or change, something in the picture to get some asymmetry. Come to think of it, I always do that 🙂
Back to the topic: Is fire abstract? I think it is. Although you as the photographer may have a clear idea of what your final picture represents it is very likely that the observer may see something completely different. If anything.
Last thing them, how to get good, voluminous, fire to shoot? The above picture was taken of a human fire breather (before editing). I was so intrigued by the pictures I got that I read up on fire breathing thinking that I could do it myself…It turns out to be quite dangerous. There are of course other ways to get the fire shots – but I’m not giving lessons on that.