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Alwolfe October 07, 2017
Beautiful photo!
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garykavanagh October 10, 2017
Very awesome
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CharliesPhoto October 10, 2017
Wooow, so beautiful .
 
frankseltmann December 08, 2017
One of the best lightpainting shots I ever saw - TOP!!!

Fire dragon



Another night on the beach - with a fire dragon and an archer.
Long exposure with an oil-soaked burning rope.
Another night on the beach - with a fire dragon and an archer.
Long exposure with an oil-soaked burning rope.
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Awards

Contest Finalist in Perfect Reflections Photo Contest
People's Choice in Stormy Skies Photo Challenge
Contest Finalist in Water And The Night Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Long Exposure Experiments Photo Contest
Winner in Let The Sparks Fly Photo Challenge
Winner in Let The Sparks Fly Photo Challenge
Peer Choice Award
Staff Favorite
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Peer Award
Outstanding Creativity
+50
Absolute Masterpiece
+21
Top Choice
+9
Superb Composition
+7
Magnificent Capture
+3
All Star
Genius
Superior Skill
Virtuoso

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Impressed

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Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken at the beach in The Hague, The Netherlands on a calm evening. After high tide, some salt water was left in a puddle, creating the perfect mirror.
Time
We went to the beach just before sunset and prepared everything. Once the sun was gone, we started shooting. I like to have just a bit of the sky in the background, but since the control of the fire's brightness is limited, it is difficult to balance the light and we had to get it done while there was just the right amount of sunlight left. A few minutes later, the background was black.
Lighting
Apart from the last bit of sunlight in the background, the only light source is the fire. I used an oil-soaked Kevlar rope, attached to two aluminium rods. In order to get some light on the model, the fire could not just stay behind the model, but had to "come forward". Otherwise, the model would appear as a black silhouette (which can also be a nice effect). The exposure was triggered remotely, here it was 9 seconds, during which the model has to stand absolutely still, which is not an easy task when you are holding bow and arrow, ready to fire. She did a great job!
Equipment
This shot was taken with a Nikon D3300 with a kit lens (18-55 mm) on a tripod, attached to a radio trigger. The fire was the only light source (apart from what's left of the sunset). For this shoot I also needed oil, a Kevlar rope, aluminium rods, lighter, gloves, black clothing, etc.
Inspiration
I like to capture the unreal, the unexpected. The long exposure results in an image that the eye cannot see as such. Creating shapes and figures with fire is a fantastic art. Further inspiration came from Barry Elder (Van Elder Photography) and Benjamin von Wong.
Editing
I usually shoot RAW to allow for corrections, but that was barely necessary for this photo. In Adobe Camera Raw I removed two spots where a ghost of my feet became visible. I somewhat increased clarity, shadows and overall exposure of the image.
In my camera bag
I shoot in the studio, on the beach and in a pool, what I pack depends therefore a lot on the kind of shoot. My preferred camera is a Nikon D800 in a hard case with three lenses (85, 24-70, 70-200 mm), triggers, batteries, blank model releases, cables. I often work with flashes (Godox QT600 and TT600, Jinbei HD600, Yongnuo 560III). Before this shoot I had to leave my gear somewhat unattended, so I took less valuable equipment. I therefore used a Nikon D3300 with the kit lens (18-55 mm), a tripod and a remote radio trigger. I also needed oil, a Kevlar rope, aluminium rods, lighter, gloves, etc.
Feedback
To begin with, play it safe! Make sure there's nothing flammable around. If you shoot with a model, make sure the clothing is not flammable and be careful with long hair too. Have water and / or an extinguisher around. A wet towel helps too. Find a model that can hold still (you'd be surprised how difficult that can be). It'll be easier for the model if she/he can sit. Get a good and reliable radio trigger for bulb exposure. The person holding the fire should be wearing black, including a black face mask and black gloves. Use a tripod. Good starting settings for this shoot are RAW, ISO 100, f/13, bulb, but it all depends on the brightness of the fire, the exposure duration and the ambient light. The focus must be fixed, I like the "back-button" option. Ask your model to hold a light, focus and fix the focus. Your model should then stay on the same spot, it may be a good idea to put a marker down. It's also a good idea to repeat the focusing every now and then. From here on it is (safe) playing and experimenting. Change the pose, change the exposure duration (shorter makes life easier), change the position and movement of the fire. Regularly check focus and exposure. Have fun!

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