The first tries at photographing fire
can often end up being a frustrating experience. The main problem is that
fire produces a lot more infrared radiation than light, and at the same
time the light sensors used in most cameras are a lot more sensitive to
infrared than light, but normal film is not sensitive to infrared! The
compounded result of this is that most cameras will dramatically underexpose
fire photos. As a starting place, I would suggest to expose about 4 stops
more than what the lightmeter tells you, and go from there!
Flames and sparks
This dangerous-looking picture shows
nothing more than a harmless barbecue fire, shortly before putting the
meat on it!
They seem to have a particular liking
for unnecessarily immense campfires. The severe blur of intentional motion
adds to the spooky appearance of the assembly. They were moving anyway
while singing, so why not add to the effect?
My schoolmates were more moderate
when making campfires. I thanked them by not moving the picture.
A funny sidenote: The smallest person
in this picture is the teacher!
I reached in time to this place to
make some photos, but unfortunately not to help in any way. This home was
located at a beach, rather far from the city, and when the fire brigade
finally arrived, they found only glowing embers. There were several propane
bottles in the house, which made any attempts to get close foolhardy.
These are easier to photograph than
most people think. Just mount the camera on a tripod, aim, open the shutter,
wait for a few blasts, close the shutter, wind, repeat. Try different aperture
settings. This is f/16. Opening more gives you brighter fire with less
color, but soon the background smoke becomes problematic. A setting of
f/8 may be optimal on ISO 100 film.
This is at f/8, and includes a bit
of the city.
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