There are many kinds of fire photography. In shooting fire-breathers, you need to need to freeze the action as soon as the flames are formed. Most likely, you would need to shoot in manual mode as it would be difficult for the camera to compensate for drastic and fast changes in light. Here we share some tips on how to shoot fire-breathers.

  • High shutter speed. Shoot at the vicinity of 1/1000 of a second. You are trying to freeze the flames as soon as they form interlocking sinews so you need to shoot at very fast shutter speeds. Fire moves quickly so if you shoot a lower shutter speeds, you may end up blurring the fire streams as they form. Also, at lower shutter speeds you may take in a lot of light, so you may end up getting overexposed portions of your flame.
  • Aperture between f/8 to f/11. Using this aperture range gives you well-defined flames. If you use wider openings, say 2.8, you will take in more light and end up with blown highlights.
  • ISO of 1000. Shoot within the vicinity of this ISO as it is likely to give you a properly exposed photograph. If you increase your ISO, you will add noise and you may blow up your highlights. At lower ISO, you may not be able to capture much of the detail of the surrounding areas of the fire.
  • Fast continuous shooting. It would be difficult to press the trigger at the exact moment that the fire has reached its best form because most likely, you won’t see it, or if you do, you will not be able to react quickly. So set your camera at continuous shooting mode. Shoot as soon as the action begins.
  • Pre-focus. It would help if you could choose a focus point before the fire-breather starts blowing flames. This would mean that your camera does not have to focus as it shoots, giving your camera a faster shooting ability and possibly avoiding being out of focus.

There you have it. It’s that easy. The Chinese New Year is coming up, now go and shoot fire-breathers in Binondo.

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