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Shooting fire dancers

Posted: Thu 25 May 2017, 12:50
by Robin
Had a little play with various settings does anyone have any pointers for shooting someone twirling a fire staff?

Re: Shooting fire dancers

Posted: Sat 27 May 2017, 09:42
by Mike Farley
In order to assist you, it would be useful to have some more information about what you are intending to shoot. For example, is it an event or a set up shoot where you have control over the subject? It sounds as though you have already taken some photos, so you could post the results here together with the settings you used. It does not sound like the easiest of subjects to me. A high shutter speed will freeze both the performer and the staff, which will give a static effect. A slower shutter speed will impart a sense of movement in the flames, but runs the risk that the performewr will be blurred. It is the sort of thing where a lot of shots are likely to be necessary to obtain one or two which work.

A further observation. Most people registered on this forum are, or have been, members of Croydon Camera Club, which means that unlike many other forums we know each other in real life. Using a nickname for a handle is all very well, but it would be preferable to have a bit more information than that, even if it is just a christian name. It just makes it a bit more personal, without having to identify yourself to those who do not know you and is more likely to encourage people to respond to your query.

Re: Shooting fire dancers

Posted: Sat 27 May 2017, 10:36
by GrahamL
Hi Nomad,

Be interested myself in what you find works best. Had only one recent experience and it wasn't a good one. Came across a fire juggler outside a Shoreditch bar one evening last December, see below.

Charlie-TrapezeBar_GCL2812.jpg (286.5 KiB) Viewed 2603 times

Charlie-TrapezeBar_GCL2816.jpg (139.26 KiB) Viewed 2603 times

Charlie-TrapezeBar_GCL2838.jpg (306.2 KiB) Viewed 2603 times

I suspect a good start would be to use a tripod and avoid relying on an hand-held posture like I was doing. There may also be possibilities with using a slow speed at high f number to catch the flame-trails and a single flash to catch the performer/context.

Best of luck, do report back on how you get on.


Re: Shooting fire dancers

Posted: Wed 06 Feb 2019, 16:31
by Robin
Apologies to all for not getting back on until now!

Firstly Mike my name? The Nomad + Robin, I was a member for many years, committee member, then left and moved so only a corresponding member, I have also judged and given talks to the club.

The question regarding fire dancers is : a set up shoot on moorland or deserted beach at night using a fire staff, some tests were undertaken then life got in the way!

I have used tripod, off camera flash using second curtain sync, almost achieving my goal but not quite

As a preference I prefer to use available light but not always easy for something like this.

I believe a member has taken some shots of this genre and would be greatful for any pointers


Re: Shooting fire dancers

Posted: Fri 08 Feb 2019, 08:28
by Mike Farley
Hi Robin

Yes, we certainly do know each other. You were a member of the club when I joined in 2004. A belated welcome to the forum!

The Nomad wrote:I believe a member has taken some shots of this genre and would be greatful for any pointers

I suspect that you are referring to another former member, David Candlish, who took shots of fire-breathers while he was living in Singapore. He wrote about the experience and how he set about it on his blog. ... -project-2

David does say it is not easy and found that available light worked best for him, which fits in with your own experiments. One of the resulting images was good enough to win a National Geographic award in 2017. ... ard-winner