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07-17-2009, 11:57 AM   #1
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Any hints on shooting bonfires?

Haven't posted a lot lately, I have actually been spending most of the free time out taking pictures instead of internet browsing.

I haven't really done any night shooting other than star trails and shots through the telescope with the digital. Next week I am going to an event that runs all day and into the night at the beach and there will be a huge bonfire and no moonlight. I have been looking online for some pointers but almost everything relates to digital. Tried the library - but everything seemed to be about digital tech there too.

I want to try shooting some B&W film of the course of the evening - of people, the fire, silhouettes, old cars and dune buggies, etc... any pointers?

I have film in the freezer at 32 ISO, 125 ISO, and 400 ISO. Should I get faster film since I am shooting people and not static subjects?

Is there something like the Sunny 16 but for night exposures?

07-17-2009, 03:35 PM   #2
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Shoot while there is still some daylight left.
07-17-2009, 09:21 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rustyoldbug Quote
Haven't posted a lot lately, I have actually been spending most of the free time out taking pictures instead of internet browsing.

I haven't really done any night shooting other than star trails and shots through the telescope with the digital. Next week I am going to an event that runs all day and into the night at the beach and there will be a huge bonfire and no moonlight. I have been looking online for some pointers but almost everything relates to digital. Tried the library - but everything seemed to be about digital tech there too.

I want to try shooting some B&W film of the course of the evening - of people, the fire, silhouettes, old cars and dune buggies, etc... any pointers?

I have film in the freezer at 32 ISO, 125 ISO, and 400 ISO. Should I get faster film since I am shooting people and not static subjects?

Is there something like the Sunny 16 but for night exposures?
For a camp fire, use the sunny 16 rule and add 7 stops. However, for a large bonfire, you will probably want to try 6 stops and bracket. Go with the 400 ISO. Here is a list for some other stuff but the camp fire is missing.

http://www.mccd.edu/faculty/gwartneyj/images/Basic%20Daylight%20Exposure%20Guide.pdf

Edit: I suggested the 400 because of it being B&W. A color film that would be interesting would be Fuji 64T slide film.

Here is another interesting site with an online version of the BlackCat system.

http://www.blackcatphotoproducts.com/kujawski-chart.html

Last edited by Blue; 07-17-2009 at 09:57 PM.
07-20-2009, 07:04 AM   #4
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Rusty,
my 2ct. from shooting bonfires (campfires):
Wait for the phases when someone adds some stuff onto the fire, for then it'll lighten up real good and the faces too. There is that moment when the flames surge and everybody looks up for a second (and you'll have almost daylight conditions).

If you say your fire will be huge anyway you will have less problems with exposure I guess. Still there is those moments I'm sure. One more thing that has worked for me is to use a tripod and cable release (all the time) and look for a group of people not moving. You can get them in very low light and some seconds of exposure (but that's more the get-lucky-digital thing). I been guessing the exposures as of say 6EV for 'bright' light and 1-2 EV for dim-appearing (to the eye) scenes.

Last, I've never used flash but can imagine it would work with a diffusor on the cam and/or handheld while long-exposing. Also a matter of how fast a lens you have at hand.

Best of success, Georg (the other)


Last edited by georgweb; 07-20-2009 at 07:10 AM.
07-20-2009, 07:52 AM   #5
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Coolness guys, every little bit helps - Blue - the links are kind of what I had been looking for to get some baselines, thanks.

I will let you know how it works out.
07-20-2009, 11:01 AM   #6
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Yes. Don't stand too close!

Chris
07-20-2009, 06:38 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Yes. Don't stand too close!

Chris
Ok.. no jumping over the fire in my synthetic made in china flammable nylon clothes...
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