My Adventures In Photography

A while back I started a photography column for my hometown's local newspaper — you'll find all of my columns from those pages here as well as new ones that I write.

To see all of my blog posts to date, click here.

Creating a fire faucet

Alrighty, here’s part two of the photo manipulation series. The picture above is very simple to create, but it can be a little tedious to properly make what’s in your head a reality.

You’ll need a sink, a lighter (preferably a longer one for candles) and a camera with a tripod.
Half the effort in making this photograph work was getting the flame to look the way I wanted.
I set up my camera near the sink and played with a lot of different angles until I found the right one.

I then set my shutter speed to 6 seconds long. You’ll need a longer shutter speed so you don’t appear in the photo and so the flame has plenty of time to move about.

My aperture was a no-brainer: I wanted the background to be blurred heavily so I stuck to f/2.8.

My ISO was also a no-brainer: I wanted a clean photograph so I stuck to ISO 250.
Here’s where the work comes in.

Using a shutter release remote to begin the exposure, I stood near the sink and lit the lighter right next to the sink and moved it semi-slowly up and down from the end of the spout to the bottom of the sink.

Moving the lighter fast enough ensures you don’t burn your sink; that’s fairly important. 
No fires, please. Be safe.

For this final shot I started with the flame near the spout and quickly moved the flame downward to create the blue glow in-between the final spurt of flame near the sink — this makes it look like I’d only just turned the hellish faucet on.

Keeping the camera in the same position, I stepped into the photograph to get a shot of my hand holding the faucet open. If the faucet has the appearance of just being turned on, a hand should be somewhere in the shot. I also had a friend help with the lighting by clicking on the lighter near the sink so my hand would have the same lighting as the previous shot.

Similarly to the last post, I just blended the two images together in Photoshop and did some minor color correction.

I’m fairly pleased with how this turned out.

Now, you might be asking why I would want fire to come out of my sink ...

I dunno. It was a fun idea I found on the Internet a few years ago and I just like how it looks.

In the next post I mess around with scale in photography.