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In this tutorial, we are going to focus on shooting flames & sparklers. We are going to walk you through everything needed to shoot such a pictures. Starting from the needed equipment and materials and continuing through the shoot.
In this tutorial we are going to focus on shooting abstract pictures of fire and sparklers. At first glance many of you may think that it is pretty easy thing to do, but there are a number of challenges to take care of.
First, we are going to focus on everything that we are going to need for such a project. But before we start, let me say that this can be dangerous if you don't take precautions. Make sure you're flames or sparklers cannot fall on anything that will ignite. It's best to do this shoot outside or in a very well ventilated area. Be conscious of what is above and around your flames as well. If you are not an adult, please find one to help you do this. Envato and I cannot be held responsible for any damage or loss that comes as a result of this tutorial.
The very first thing in the list of all the materials is a lighter fluid. I have tried a lot of different fluids and figured out that lighter fluid provides the best quality flames. It costs $2-3 for 133ml so for $5-6 you can buy enough to shoot all night long.
The next thing we need is a barbeque lighter. This will help you avoid burning your hand trying to fire up the lighter fluid.
Next we need some kind of plank. I'm using a plastic kind of a plate that doesn't burn. This will be the base where we are going to put our lighter fluid and fire it up. Again, be very cautious when working with fire. Be sure the lighter fluid does not spill on anything you don't want to catch on fire.
In order to keep the fire alive longer, we are going to need cotton or gauze. You just need to spread the cotton or the gauze and drip some of the lighter fluid on top of it. Start with just a few drops, and add more if needed. When you are ready you can burn them up and you are going to see that the fire lasts 2-3 times longer.
Our next materials are very exiting. As you can see from the picture below here we have two different types of sparklers. The first one is a traditional sparkler and the second one is something meant to be put on party cakes. It creates a great sparkler type of effect and that’s why I decided to get some of those and try experimenting. Make sure you get more than 30-40 traditional sparklers, because one of them lasts around 30 seconds and considering the time you need to take some test photos to set your ISO, shutter and aperture you are going to burn at least 5-6 until you get the right settings. The rest of them are just fun to play with as you are going to see.
The next thing I used is a "helping hand" magnifier, as you can see below. You can use whatever you think will work, but this was the first thing I found in my home that I thought could hold a sparkler while it was burning. It really does a great job.
Finally, we need a black board to use as a background. Mine is 100x70cm and works great for what I'm shooting. It costs around $1-2 depending on the size, but I recommend you to get the biggest one possible.
At this point, please make sure your clothing is not in danger of catching on fire. If you have long hair, make sure it is pull back and out of the way. If you're very confident with your flame-handling skills, be aware that some photographers have had success using a flammable spray to create interesting photos. If you choose to do something like this, please be sure that you are in an environment that will not catch fire.
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