2013 Challenge / Week 4: FIRE / FLAME

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Posted 1/27/2013 by KrisztinaK in General Photography
 

KrisztinaK
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 1/27/2013 10:59:13 PM
So we have now completed three weeks of challenges. One more and we have a full month. I am really enjoying challenging myself in this way, I hope you are too !

On to the next theme ... fire/flames.
This can be challenging so I am including two links to give you a little instruction on how to best photograph fire and flames.


How to Photograph Fire - 1

How to Photograph Fire - 2



I can't wait to see everyone's submissions.



2013 Challenge, Week 4: FIRE / FLAMES


-------------------------


The ground rules...

1. Each week will be assigned a theme.
Themes will be announced each Friday.

2. Post your submission(s) to each week's thread by the following Thursday. (Don't worry if you're late, you can still post.)

3. If you would like CC, please re-post the photo in a new thread.




HHCC always welcome & appreciated !!

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karene
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Posted: 1/28/2013 9:32:28 AM
Definitely a challenge here!! Off to do some thinking. . .


~ Karen


margievis
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Posted: 1/28/2013 1:51:35 PM
Cool challenge!


In my Camera bag:
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Visit my blogs at:

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gardencat
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Posted: 1/31/2013 8:51:15 AM
I'm off to do some reading up on the two links you gave us.

gardencat
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Posted: 1/31/2013 6:07:59 PM
Okay, I'll go first.




KrisztinaK
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 1/31/2013 10:43:59 PM
I also have two.






Anyone else?



HHCC always welcome & appreciated !!

Canon 60D ... 30D & XT ... 24-105L f/4 IS ... 50mm f/1.8 ... 430EX ... Pocket Wizards ... PSCS6 & LR4

karene
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 2/2/2013 10:42:44 AM
Those are all great! I am a couple weeks behind but hoping to catch up this weekend or early next week.

Wondering what I can set on fire that isn't a candle. . .


~ Karen

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tnjoann
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Posted: 2/2/2013 8:39:20 PM
Here is my try.




Superscrapilicious
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Posted: 2/4/2013 11:43:40 PM
I didn't think I was going to be able to do this one but today we went to Arlington cemetary and I shot this one.



It will probably come out big but I don't know how to resize from ipad.


I am a child of the most high God. He has promised me a plan of hope and a future (Jer 29:11)
He is enthralled with my beauty (Ps 45:11)
He rejoices over me with singing (Ze 3:17)
He bestowed on me a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning (Is 61:3)
You see my beloved is mine and I am his. (SOS 2:16)
He can be yours too. Just ask. MT7:8


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Superscrapilicious
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 2/4/2013 11:48:36 PM
Sorry wrong picture.



I am a child of the most high God. He has promised me a plan of hope and a future (Jer 29:11)
He is enthralled with my beauty (Ps 45:11)
He rejoices over me with singing (Ze 3:17)
He bestowed on me a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning (Is 61:3)
You see my beloved is mine and I am his. (SOS 2:16)
He can be yours too. Just ask. MT7:8


Canon Rebel T4i
EFS 18-55mm
EF 75-300mm


KrisztinaK
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 2/5/2013 8:55:08 PM
Love seeing these entries.

So here are my observations.

I definitely overexposed my flames. I am thinking I will re-shoot these when I have some time. While I am happy with my composition and exposure on the candle, and the overall mood of the photos, I am NOT happy that I did not nail the exposure on the flame itself.

All three of the others captured the details and colors in the flames really well. However, the first post is underexposed as far as the rest of the candle goes. That is exactly what would have happened to my candles as well had the flames been exposed correctly.

I did a little more reading, specifically on NOT blowing out (not pun intended) the flames in a good candle shot. What I have learned is that the dynamic range is just too much for the camera to capture when we are dealing with such low light as a single flame. Or even 2 or 3 solitary flames. It is just too dark to capture the candle. Exposing for the flame with yield an underexposed candle, and exposing for the candle (like I did) will blow out the flame.

Suggestions included taking multiple exposures and merging them in PS, as well as increasing the ambient light in the scene. This can be done by just bring a lamp nearby or using a flash with a colored gel to match the color of the light emitted by the candle.

I will try both to see which yields better results.


Jo Ann, your shot looks like it was taken in a well lit room. Which solved that problem.

Superscrapilicious, the same goes for yours. You were outside, and certainly had enough light at your disposal to properly expose for the flame.

The key is to expose for the flame, and make modifications as needed to prevent underexposure to the rest of the photo.

I hope my ramblings have helped anyone other than me on this topic.



HHCC always welcome & appreciated !!

Canon 60D ... 30D & XT ... 24-105L f/4 IS ... 50mm f/1.8 ... 430EX ... Pocket Wizards ... PSCS6 & LR4

gardencat
Jeepers PEApers

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Posted: 2/5/2013 9:35:44 PM
So would you prefer the exposure on this shot?



I guess it depends what you are looking for...if you walk into a dark room, with a candle burning, you won't be able to see the candle very well either so if that is the effect you are going for, then you'd want the candle part to be underexposed, wouldn't you?

Like taking a skyline at night, if you set the shutter speed to give an exposure that shows all the details of the buildings you lose the effect of it being a night shot, don't you?

KrisztinaK
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 2/5/2013 10:00:53 PM
I definitely see your point, and agree with what you are saying.
It is all very subjective.

This doesn't look like the candle was the only light in the room though. The lights in the room were on, right?



HHCC always welcome & appreciated !!

Canon 60D ... 30D & XT ... 24-105L f/4 IS ... 50mm f/1.8 ... 430EX ... Pocket Wizards ... PSCS6 & LR4

memories5
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 2/5/2013 10:04:18 PM
Here is my try on this one.. I kept trying to think up something different...


Jennifer~
I think a photography class should be a requirement in all educational programs because it makes you see the world rather than just look at it.

KrisztinaK
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 2/5/2013 10:14:24 PM
Jennifer, I love that you tried something different. I would love the see the flame un-interrupted by the rim of the glass though.

It looks like you did the same thing as I did, the flame is overexposed. Apparently this is difficult to get right in camera.




HHCC always welcome & appreciated !!

Canon 60D ... 30D & XT ... 24-105L f/4 IS ... 50mm f/1.8 ... 430EX ... Pocket Wizards ... PSCS6 & LR4

KrisztinaK
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 2/5/2013 10:16:05 PM
gardencat, I would try an edit between the two that you have posted here. Something that still captures the mood but is not quite so dark. The first one just looks underexposed IMO. The second, way too bright. Not as in overexposed, just brighter than it should be.

Do you mind if I have a quick play?



HHCC always welcome & appreciated !!

Canon 60D ... 30D & XT ... 24-105L f/4 IS ... 50mm f/1.8 ... 430EX ... Pocket Wizards ... PSCS6 & LR4

gardencat
Jeepers PEApers

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Posted: 2/5/2013 10:26:41 PM
By all means Krfisztina be my guest playing with them. I'd be interested to see what you come up with.

Actually both shots were taken, during the day, close to a window. For the first one I metered on the flame, so the exposure was based on that and left the rest in relative darkness.

KrisztinaK
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 2/5/2013 11:00:01 PM
I think the flame looks good, but it really does look a bit too dark for me.

Here is a quick edit on what I had in mind. Definitely not bright, but not so dark that it appears to be underexposed either.



I'm not sure if it fits what you were trying to capture. It's just my take. Hope you like.


ETA: In looking back on these, I am seeing that mine looks pretty dark too. I just wanted to point out that the candles I photographed were not white. They were cream which tapered off to a very dark color toward the base. Since your candle is white, I would expect the whole image to be a bit brighter since the subject is not only lighter but also reflecting more light from the flame.



HHCC always welcome & appreciated !!

Canon 60D ... 30D & XT ... 24-105L f/4 IS ... 50mm f/1.8 ... 430EX ... Pocket Wizards ... PSCS6 & LR4

gardencat
Jeepers PEApers

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Posted: 2/6/2013 9:58:21 AM
These comments lead to an interesting discussion; what is 'correct exposure'?

The off the cuff answer would seem to be, an exposure which records detail in the highlights and the shadows of the photo, or to put it another way, an image that avoids blown highlights or crushed shadows. But I have seen a number of high key photos posted which, to my eye, definitely have blown highlights, and yet are quite effective images. Ditto for low key photos with crushed shadows. So then, are those photos 'correctly' exposed, or not?

Ditto, with focus. You could look at this image below and say, "Whoa, Joanne, you need to use a smaller aperture, the whole back of the lizard is out of focus". But I think, at least I hope, that you would realize that the depth of field in this photo is pretty much exactly what I wanted it to be, to convey a feeling of 'slither' or movement.



Sometimes, correct, is whatever setting creates the atmosphere that the photographer is trying to create.

Your comments have given me some ideas about other candle shots I would like to try though.
I have a feeling that if I could capture an image, where the flame and the candle are both 'correctly exposed' according to what, I think, is your view of correct exposure it may be a slightly boring picture. Kind of like a candle, in a well lit room, is relatively dull as opposed to flickering candlelight in dim surrounds.

Should be fun to try though, I'll let you know if I succeed (in my estimation at least).

memories5
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 2/6/2013 11:45:22 AM
Love your comment Gardencat!!! I think some of it is up to the photographer.. I almost always shoot in F 2.8 it is my favorite .. some don't like that and its ok.. but I think lots of things are up to us


Jennifer~
I think a photography class should be a requirement in all educational programs because it makes you see the world rather than just look at it.

Superscrapilicious
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 2/6/2013 12:15:49 PM
Thanks K. I'll have to find a candle so that I can try inside and practice.


I am a child of the most high God. He has promised me a plan of hope and a future (Jer 29:11)
He is enthralled with my beauty (Ps 45:11)
He rejoices over me with singing (Ze 3:17)
He bestowed on me a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning (Is 61:3)
You see my beloved is mine and I am his. (SOS 2:16)
He can be yours too. Just ask. MT7:8


Canon Rebel T4i
EFS 18-55mm
EF 75-300mm


gardencat
Jeepers PEApers

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Posted: 2/6/2013 12:59:24 PM
So, I tried and I failed.
Even bringing in really bright light from the side I couldn't get the candle showing well lit and not blow out the details in the flame.

This was taken with a very strong light on the scene but you can see the flames are still over exposed:



By fiddling around in photoshop I was able to get this (which doesn't really satisfy me but does have less blown flames), but SOOC I just couldn't.

Exposing for detail in the flame left the candle "in the dark".

I'm guessing that the range of light values in the scene is just too wide for the sensor to handle...or maybe I'm just not smart enough to figure out what I need to do. I did think about a graduated neutral density filter but sadly, unlike a landscape where the sky tends to stay on top and the ground on the bottom, the flames are not so co-operative, so at this point I am stumped.

KrisztinaK
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 2/10/2013 9:51:32 PM
I'm sorry I forgot to come back and post my reply on this.

I decided to dig in and research a bit deeper on this, since it really did prove to be so quite a challenge. Basically ...


I'm guessing that the range of light values in the scene is just too wide for the sensor to handle...


... this about sums it up.

It's such a bright highlight that the dynamic range is too large for the camera to capture the full range from shadows to highlights.

I found a great site with examples, let me dig it up. It really helps to see specifically just how little light a candle puts out.



HHCC always welcome & appreciated !!

Canon 60D ... 30D & XT ... 24-105L f/4 IS ... 50mm f/1.8 ... 430EX ... Pocket Wizards ... PSCS6 & LR4

KrisztinaK
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 2/10/2013 9:59:21 PM
I wanted to add one thing ... likely stating the obvious here.


Apparently, you can treat the candle as nothing more than the light source and leave it out of the frame. If you include it, you *can* blow it out if it is not relevant to the image. This does not make the final image "wrong". If it is a priority to capture the full range of detail in the flame, or the color of the flame, then one must decide to to increase the ambient light to bring up the shadows in the rest of the image, or simply allow the shadows to clip. It is also acceptable to bracket the stop and layer them in post-process.

At some point there will be a compromise made to capture an acceptable image. One or two candle really emit such a small amount of light. The light doesn't really reach more than a few inches from the flame.



HHCC always welcome & appreciated !!

Canon 60D ... 30D & XT ... 24-105L f/4 IS ... 50mm f/1.8 ... 430EX ... Pocket Wizards ... PSCS6 & LR4

gardencat
Jeepers PEApers

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Posted: 2/10/2013 10:40:09 PM
I'd be really interested if you could find that site and post it here. I tried my best to increase the ambient light, on the scene, to bring up the shadows but I still couldn't get the surroundings 'well' exposed without blowing the flame.

KrisztinaK
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 2/10/2013 10:50:14 PM
This was the website

133 Photos Lit By a Single Candle

Also, being as determined as I am sometimes, I set this up again and re-shot several times. The combos I tried were ambient only and then I added in varying degrees of bounced flash. I don't have time now but will post my results in the next few days. It's really quite interesting.



HHCC always welcome & appreciated !!

Canon 60D ... 30D & XT ... 24-105L f/4 IS ... 50mm f/1.8 ... 430EX ... Pocket Wizards ... PSCS6 & LR4

tnjoann
PeaAddict

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Posted: 2/11/2013 8:16:59 AM
Very interesting to read all the comments. I'll have to go check that link out. My shot was 2 shots put together in PS. One for the flame and one with bounce flash to light the candle.

KK post your newest efforts when you have time.



coolbeans
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Posted: 2/11/2013 9:54:06 PM
Nothing better than an outdoor fire in the winter to warm you up from an evening hike.



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Jackie S.

tnjoann
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Posted: 2/11/2013 10:03:02 PM
Oh nice fire shot Jackie!



MizIndependent
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Posted: 2/13/2013 1:59:40 PM





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gardencat
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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:53:04 PM
Those fire shots look so warm and inviting. Wish I could curl up next to them and just watch the flames dance, for a while.

Tnjoann thanks for posting the info about how you got your candle photo. I was looking and thinking that I must be missing something, in all my attempts to get details in the flame and candle ,SOOC so it helps to know that you did use a composite to solve the problem.

gardencat
Jeepers PEApers

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Posted: 2/17/2013 7:43:00 AM
I finally had a chance to look at the site you posted the link to,

133 photos lit by a single candle

It was a good read and some of the submitted photos were inventive and but to my mind it's not directly applicable to this challenge. The objective of that shooting challenge was to capture an image 'by the light of a single candle' which is quite different to my mind than a challenge to photograph fire/flame.
If I'm asked to photograph fire then I think I need to actually include the fire in the photo. If I'm asked to photograph 'by the light of a candle' I don't need to include the candle at all, just as I wouldn't need to include my flash apparatus in a photo taken 'using flash'.

I did note that in the entries to that challenge which did include the actual flame, the flames appeared to my eyes to be blown and the rest of the image somewhat dark, as in most of the photos posted to this challenge.

KrisztinaK
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 2/18/2013 3:11:36 PM
gardencat, I agree with your comments here. Especially this one...


I did note that in the entries to that challenge which did include the actual flame, the flames appeared to my eyes to be blown and the rest of the image somewhat dark, as in most of the photos posted to this challenge.


I posted that link to show the examples of images WITH the actual flame in the shot. I was trying to demonstrate that the candle's flame really is not as bright as one would think. It really is interesting because the light of the flame will blow out so easily in an image, yet at the same time really does not generate a lot of light.

So I guess this challenge really was more of a learning challenge for a lot of us. Which I really love - just goes to show that we will always have something new to learn.

JoAnn - I also wanted to thank you for posting how you ended up with your shot. I wish you had mentioned this in your original post. It's a perfect example of one way to get both exposures correct.

The second would be exposing for the flame and adding an external light source to throw more light on the candle itself.




HHCC always welcome & appreciated !!

Canon 60D ... 30D & XT ... 24-105L f/4 IS ... 50mm f/1.8 ... 430EX ... Pocket Wizards ... PSCS6 & LR4

KrisztinaK
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 2/18/2013 3:12:38 PM
I forgot to add that I love the latest submissions. The fire in both of them looks so warm and inviting. I think they were captured very nicely.



HHCC always welcome & appreciated !!

Canon 60D ... 30D & XT ... 24-105L f/4 IS ... 50mm f/1.8 ... 430EX ... Pocket Wizards ... PSCS6 & LR4
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