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3rd PlaceSorcerer

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Darkness (Basic Editing III)
Camera: Nikon D70
Lens: Nikon AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED
Location: Maja's Place, Karkow, Poland
Date: Jun 8, 2005
Aperture: 11
ISO: 200
Shutter: 1.3
Galleries: Action, Studio
Date Uploaded: Jun 10, 2005

The setup for this shot was simple, here's the recipe:

- Find a large open dark place. In this case, it was an inner courtyard in Krakow, Poland, at my friend Maja's place. Make sure to place the subject against a background that is far away, and that doesn't have any light sources.

- Place a tripod low to the ground and point it up at the subject so that the flash lit ground doesn't show up on the picture.

- Take a wireless flash and point it at the subject from any angle you wish. In this case Caroline was holding the flash, and was at a 45deg angle to the left of the image. The CRUCIAL part is that I put an incandescent filter on the flash, so that the Sorcerer looks like he's lit by the fire, even though he was lit by a flash.

- Use the lowest ISO setting, then test the flamme's exposure and change the aperture accordingly. The flamme's exposure depends, on the speed of the fire balls and concentration of parafin feeding the fire (which diminishes with time). So either you open the aperture progressively throughout one session (about 5minutes) or have the sorcerer slow down as the fire gets weaker to keep a constant flamme brightness.

- Once a good aperture is set, the flash strength is adjusted to expose the sorcerer properly.

- TIMING: with a proper exposure, the shutter can be adjusted to control the length of the light paths, without affecting the exposure.

- This was the first time I fire danced, but it's not difficult. My cousin Piotr hit the shutter when I was in the right position, then I had 1.3 seconds to make a nice trace. This one was my favorite.

NOTE: Luckily the brightness of the subject is much lower that the brightness of the flammes, which prevents a blurred image to superimpose on the flash lit subject.


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Place: 3 out of 373
Avg (all users): 6.8204
Avg (commenters): 7.7813
Avg (participants): 6.5036
Avg (non-participants): 7.0406
Views since voting: 9571
Views during voting: 579
Votes: 334
Comments: 56
Favorites: 43 (view)

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07/07/2005 05:01:36 AM
very kewl. i like trailing pics
06/23/2005 01:29:25 PM
What a great shot. Super composition and exposure.
06/22/2005 04:43:24 PM
Thanks for telling us how you did this! It is TRULY an amazing photo! Very desrving of a ribbon! I think all 3 of these ribbons deserve to be blue :)


06/22/2005 03:19:42 PM
good job man. impressive
06/22/2005 02:02:34 PM
congratulations on your Ribbon with this awesome shot! Great Work!
06/22/2005 08:47:32 AM
WOW this is wonderful and your outtakes are fabulous! Congrats!!
06/22/2005 06:27:16 AM
Very dynamic with a great composition. Result.
06/22/2005 04:00:02 AM
Congratulations on yet another ribbon ! Impressive !
06/22/2005 12:57:59 AM
Awesome image. I didn't have a chance to comment during the challenge. My sister is a fire dancer, so I'm curious where you took the shot and who the model is. Wonderful capture of the provocativeness of this dance. You've managed to make it almost more appealing frozen in time than it is live.
06/22/2005 12:40:29 AM
man.. if a shot like this can't get over 7.. there's no hope for me :)
06/22/2005 12:38:16 AM

Message edited by author 2005-07-11 21:07:26.
06/22/2005 12:22:09 AM
Stunning image! Absolutely great!
06/22/2005 12:09:52 AM
Very cool picture...congrats on the ribbon..you earned it!
06/22/2005 12:05:50 AM
King sorcerer of DPC. Congratulations on your Yellow with this impressive light painting of the infinity icon.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
06/21/2005 09:28:51 PM
Beautiful! 10
06/21/2005 05:38:52 PM
pretty cool.
06/21/2005 04:02:19 PM
Great shot!! I wonder how you managed this!! Congratulations
06/21/2005 02:28:28 PM
Very nice photo.
Well rehearsed and well modelled.
06/19/2005 04:55:56 PM
good idea! very well done
06/19/2005 02:03:17 PM
This is a great idea, executed pretty well. Unlike some of the light painting shots in the challenge that seem not well thought out, very random, this shot looks well planned and compositionally strong. This works well, I'm wondering though if the person were just a little more prominent (not much) in the shot it might be an even stronger presentation? Nice shot.
06/19/2005 09:59:45 AM
Wow, awesome job of catching the fire, it's so sharp. Very cool.
06/19/2005 05:21:18 AM
Beautiful texture and colouring on the flame trails
06/19/2005 01:00:37 AM
I like how the guys arms and face are the only visible things. The way the flames just sit there is pretty errie as well.
06/18/2005 08:32:20 PM
Ok.. this is just cool. Note quite darkness I suppose considering it's.. fire, but very awesome. Maybe you're a black mage? Anyway, I'd say that the model is not light well enough considering he is in the middle... compared to the very amazing fire.
06/18/2005 03:13:08 PM
flame scribbling!
06/18/2005 01:42:29 PM
I like the effect of the fire swirling and the black background..my only complaint is that he might have looked more like a sorcerer with some sort of hood.
06/18/2005 11:30:08 AM
06/18/2005 03:36:56 AM
love the flames, not sure it captures `darkness` for me though.
06/17/2005 09:28:59 PM
Simply amazing.
06/17/2005 05:31:38 PM
This is a fantastic firedancer pisture - but i feel it is a photo using darkness to display light.
06/17/2005 03:54:38 PM
This is way cool! I'm not quite sure how you got the person so sharp while he obviously must have been moving? If you didn't on submitting, please share your technique after voting!
06/17/2005 03:16:30 PM
Super design statement. Love the line and lighting.
06/17/2005 12:10:43 PM
Now thats cool!
06/17/2005 02:18:07 AM
Nice shot. The flames look like brush strokes. I like the subject looking right at the camera challenging the viewer.
06/17/2005 01:43:37 AM
This has been done before, but your flares are better. Good luck!
06/16/2005 11:10:01 PM
One of the oldest tricks in the book,But I think it works here. Nice job! Good Luck
06/16/2005 07:41:54 PM
Awesome! Fantastically captured.One of my favourites so far. 10!
06/16/2005 02:17:29 PM
Very nice !! Well done
06/16/2005 11:30:43 AM
Very skillful. Like the fact that you kept the light source low and warm for the 'reveal'. 8
06/16/2005 03:55:17 AM
Not bad. You've managed to get the person nice and sharp for the conditions. I'd like to have seen a bit more of an artistic swirl. Maybe a letter shape rather than just a figure 8. Easier said than done I'm sure. How many shots did it take you to get the exposure right?
06/15/2005 06:38:09 PM
my son wants me to do this with him....take a picture of him with a sparkler or something...thanks for the idea...10 from both of us
06/15/2005 06:19:38 PM
Pretty cool. Like it. 10
06/15/2005 04:10:13 PM
This is a great image. You did an excellent job painting with light. I'm impressed that you managed to get the body as crisp. I'd have used a flash and messed it all up.
The composition is really cool. Very dynamic. 10.
06/15/2005 04:06:10 PM
Great light effect! Great cropping, too.
06/15/2005 03:22:17 PM
The most beautiful shot in the challenge! My guess is that this one will ribbon! 10
06/15/2005 12:54:45 PM
How do u do it? How do u do it? I remember we had similar photos on the new year, but have no idea of how can I do that too
06/15/2005 12:50:21 PM
Impressive stuff!
06/15/2005 11:47:31 AM
Nicely done...
06/15/2005 09:50:31 AM
Slow-sync is a cool thing and you've definitely mastered it! Nice use of the frame.
06/15/2005 07:07:05 AM
Impressive shoot! congrats! I don't think that meet the challenge requests but I really like it!
06/15/2005 06:55:53 AM
Nice picture - how did you manage the flame movement with the stationary sorcerer?
06/15/2005 05:09:36 AM
06/15/2005 03:25:27 AM
nice one
06/15/2005 03:00:32 AM
you couldnt have captured motion in a still better than this........the glow is surreal
06/15/2005 12:57:04 AM
Very cool (or should I say hot?) I like this one. Good imagination!!

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