How to Photograph Fire

Fire images can provoke a wide range of emotions, from joy and awe to fear and horror. Fire can be both comforting and dangerous. However, that said, we know how many of you love to snap a pic of your fire on in all its glory and share those cosy vibes on social media.

Fire photography is an exciting genre and you can capture very powerful photos using its light. These could be of the fire itself, people around the fire, interior and exterior landscapes. In addition to capturing the beauty of the light you want to be able to capture that wonderful atmosphere a fire creates.

Here we look at some top tips suitable for every level of photographer. So, whether your using a DSLR or snapping pictures on your phone learn how to up level your images below.

SAFETY FIRST

In the wise words of Frankenstein’s monster, “Fire Bad!” and this is especially true when photographing it. Follow these tips to help keep you and your camera protected.

• It’s easy to become disorientated when looking though a lens and end up much closer to the subject than you think you are, keep a safe distance. The heat and smoke can also damage your devise irreparably.
• Think ahead and plan your photo so you know exactly how you want to capture it. Have a plan to put out the fire if it’s one you are in control of, or know what safety precautions are in place.
• If you’re photographing a campfire or bonfire be sure to take car of the wind.
• Don’t ask anyone you’re photographing to get too close to the fire either.
• If you’re a beginner photographer experiment with sparklers and candles before practicing with larger fires.

SET YOUR CAMERA ON A TRIPOD

The key to a successful fire photo is using a tripod or support for your camera. This will support and steady your devise and help you to achieve a clearer image as the camera shake is reduced and consequently the chances of a blurred image.

TURN OFF THE FLASH

It simply isn’t needed for this type of photography. The fire is your light source.

BE CREATIVE WITH CAMERA SETTINGS.

On most smartphones there is now the option to increase and decrease exposure by tapping on the camera screen and adjusting the sun icon either up or down. On other cameras, such as SLRs there are three settings which will affect your exposure, they are aperture, shutter speed and ISO. To get the very best shots of a fire you need to experiment with these.

USE A SELF TIMER

As you’re photographing in low light conditions, it’s inevitable you could get camera shake, even on a tripod. You see, when you press the button the camera movely slightly and this can create blur in your photos. Try using a remote shutter or self-timer with the tripod/support to dramatically reduce camera shake.

MAKE THE FIRE THE MAIN SOURCE OF LIGHT

If you’re photographing fire in an indoor setting, such as a wood-burner or candle, turn off the other sources of light such as ceiling and table lamps for a more dramatic effect. Thanks to its warm colour and soft shades the fire is a perfect light source.

PRACTICE AND PLAY

Do you enjoy a cosy fire pit in your garden or bonfires at the beach? Do you like candlelit dinners? What about campfire marshmallow roasts? These are all great places to practice fire photography.

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