Photographing Night & Fire
Items of interest
Special Photo Challenges
Two topics for photography; night & fires offer special challenges to any photographer, and for perhaps that reason, I have found them to be overlooked in the range of topics suited for photography.
There are many topics that can be pursued in photography and almost anything can be photographed. Most photographic topics add their own special challenge that has to be dealt with in order to make photography worthwhile.
If you are an aspiring photographer, the best recommendation that I can offer is to choose a topic and specialize in it. Over time others will know you as a "........photographer", you can even become the go-to-person when editors want photos of the topic you cover.
I photograph a wide array of subjects, but I have specialized in nature and to a lesser degree in macros and so far it has worked for me.
With planing, preparation and patience night and fire photos can be done as well as being fun to do.
Fires are a rare occurrence, but wildfires occur with some frequency ,at least in Florida, the downside is that you have to be ready to go on a moments notice when news breaks about a wildfire. Cover the fire itself, the personnel fighting it, the after effects. You can also do a bit of news reporting on it and accompany shots with a news article.
This will make your photos and article more plausible for being picked up by the news and editors. However, always exercise prudence and never interfere with those risking their lives to control the fire.
Bonn fires are also a good source of photos. Cover the way flames "dance" , the change in colors of the burning material, preparations before and after.
Structural fires can pose challenges in and off themselves, often you can't get close enough to take good shots, but they do offer an excellent opportunity for photos and news reporting.
Note: be very conscious if there is human suffering associated with the fire, do not be callous to the feelings of others. No photo is worth aggravating the feelings and safety of others or yourself.
Not every fire needs to be large or elaborate, small things such as paper burning, a candle can be photographed. You can be creative, set up matches to light up one at a time and in a row, different size candles etc.
Don't overlook ceremonies which include fire and amusement park performers make great subjects too.
Night photography doesn't have to be dull. Cover lighted buildings and structures, stars, planets, fireworks, the moon, meteor showers, planes,helicopters and depending where you live, the Aurora Borealis. Moonlight cloud formations also present themselves well for photo ops.
Thunder storms can give spectacular lighting strikes, being careful they can be photographed with ease. Do prepare your equipment to take time lapses or use your camera's "bulb position", where you can keep the shutter open for as long as you depress the shutter.
And last but not least, have fun.
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© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez