I found this really interesting website called Wonderful Photos, and I found an article on there with tips on how to photograph matches, fire and smoke. You can visit it here.
I remember for my seven deadly sins final photographs I used fire in my Greed photograph. I really liked the effect the fire gave on the photograph so I am hoping to use this technique in some of my film stills photographs.
Heres the tips on how to photograph matches, fire and smoke from the Wonderful Photos website.
What you’ll need:
- Macro Lens
- Match stand/clamp
- Black background
- Remote release cable
- Flash off-shoe cable
- White reflector
- Clamp match into your stand
- Place stand in front of black backdrop
- Place flash on the left side of match
- Place reflector on the right side of match
- Air currents in the room will direct the match’s smoke.
- As illustrated in the top photo, the air was blowing to the left so the match was framed on the right side of the image to balance the composition.
- Set your camera to manual exposure since your flash will be the main light.
- Set your flash to manual as well. The rapidly shifting smoke is tricky to deal with automatically.
- The brightness of the flame is determined by the camera, not the flash. To make the flame brighter or larger, simply allow for more ambient light to expose in the frame.
- Chimp between exposures and adjust your settings accordingly.
Igniting the Flame:
- Make sure your entire setup is well ventilated and that you take appropriate safety measures!
- Ignite the lighter and place the flame next to the match. It will take a moment for the match to ignite.
- Once the match ignites, quickly remove the lighter and press the shutter!
- As soon as the match ignites, it will flare up brightly. This is the ideal time to take the photo because it is when you’ll see all the smoke! A remote release cable is very helpful here!
- After the flare calms down, you’ll be left with just a quiet flame and no more smoke.
- As the matches erupt, they’ll spew out tiny flakes of ash. Clone them out in Photoshop to make the images noticeably cleaner.
- Boost the cyan saturation to bring out the beautiful blues in the smoke.
I am really interested in their idea of using a clamp to hold the match while photographing it. I do remember from my seven deadly sins shoot, that it was hard to hold the match in one hand and take the photograph with another, I solved this by using a timer on my camera but I think a clamp would be more effective.
I will experiment myself with light and matches when I get back to university. I like the atmosphere created by the matches and I think I could use this to my advantage in my photographs. I will also look into using candles as a light source in for my film scene images.
For my picturing the body series of images, I’m using three images of my shoulders in black and white. I bought really nice white wooden frames for £8 each for them. They will not take away from the images and draw the viewer’s attention to the pictures not the frames. The frames were quite expensive, but I think they will look good on the white walls of the gallery and enhance my images. The images being black and white, I needed to get simple frames so that they wouldn’t draw the viewer’s eye away from my pictures.
For my Lego images, the series of 7 images inspired by the seven deadly sins, I wanted to buy simple glass frames. So the images could look like they only had glass in front of them. I chose clip frames and made sure my images would fit perfectly so that they still look professional. All 8 frames (one spare just in case) cost me just over £5 which I thought was really good for the nice frames. I didn’t want any wood at the sides of the frames because I want the viewers to be able to see the entire photographs and see them as a set, not individual images.
I decided to use my final images from picturing the body for my exhibition, because I really liked them and thought I had put a lot of work into them. This was before I got my feedback that said otherwise, but I decided to stick with my plan and use the images in the exhibition.
I am going to get them printed A3 size, which will be big enough to draw people’s attention but also make sure there is hidden detail in the images that people will have to lean in to see. I like to bring people closer to my work, so they can see it close-up and that they might remember it when they go home.
I will have the three main images from the series up in the gallery I think. I would like to have them on the main pillars you see as you walk into the gallery, but I will have to ask Kayleigh and Bijash if this will be ok.
I want people to look at my images and wonder what they are about, and even wonder about the subject matter. I want the images to be spaced around the gallery so there is a sense of mystery, so the viewers wonder what the images are saying.
Photographing myself naked was cold, that is the main feeling I can remember while shooting. Not being able to feel my fingers made pressing buttons on the camera really hard. I had to put the camera on a 10 second timer just so I could press the shutter than get back into the position I wanted. So the pictures took even longer which wasn’t good when stood in the cold. I did learn from this exercise that how you position your body creates the images, you can create surreal looking images and normal looking images just by changing the position of your limbs. I will not be showing the images anywhere, this was an exercise to find out how it feels to photograph yourself naked. I will be taking more subtle images soon inspired by Bill Brandt.
This assignment was to get close to someone I already knew in their own environment, taking the camera to them. I chose to photograph my boyfriend David because he is one of the people in my life that I know best. I photographed him in his room because I didn’t want him to be distracted by the camera too much. I think I achieved this because he looks relaxed in the images just doing normal things without posing for the camera. I once again chose to put the images in black and white because I think it makes them look better and they show how handsome David is.
I chose to leave this image in colour because if I put it in black and white the detail would be lost. This is one of my favourite images.
I Love you David
I didn’t feel ready to photograph a stranger, so I decided to photograph one of my housemates friends Zachary Clayton, I had seen him a few times but never talked to him really, as I am shy talking to new people. At first the shoot was harder than photographing Emma because I had known her a little bit. But after a while we were talking and it felt the same as it had with Emma. The final pictures of this shoot show that Zach was talking a lot while I was shooting, and I didn’t mind this I like the informal feel of the pictures just like the actual shoot. During the shoot we talked about Zach’s girlfriend and her job working with dementia patients, I found out his last name and we talked about his involvement in the Coventry medieval society. So I think the shoot was successful.
I got a fish eye adapter for christmas and I had to try it out. Yes it is only a £35 cheap lens but I cannot afford the proper fish eyes. I was actually really happy with the images produced by the adaptor. I will use it in different projects in the future…So keep your eyes peeled 🙂 The reason behind taking these images was the circle the lens created reminded me of the shape of the earth, so I turned my camera up to the sky and photographed it. I really like the results, I can imagine one printed on the inside of a gallery’s roof, so people could look up at it, and there would always be a blue sky.