Burning Man

Flaming Portraits is a technique to create portraits, very similar to light painting but with more dramatic effect. Travis Gadsby showed us step by step approach to create this. Its really very very safe than it looks. However taking necessary precautions when dealing with fire is recommended. And yeah, Photoshop has nothing on it.

Things you need

  1. A perfect dark spot – Any light leaking into the frame will be detrimental
  2. A strobe preferably powered by a portable power
  3. Tripod
  4. Camera – obviously
  5. Remote Shutter or a second person

How to make the flame

  1. DO NOT use gasoline or any fast flammables
  2. Tiki Oil works best
  3. Use a metal broom and wrap a cotton towel around it
  4. Tie the towel in place using metal wires
  5. Dip the towel end in the Tiki Oil

Before you light it up, make sure everything else is set correctly. Set the strobe and your model. Ensure he/she is perfect focus. Use F/22, ISO 200, 15 sec shutter to begin with. After focusing, put your lens in manual.

Now time to light up the fire. Make sure this is not in frame just yet. Click the shutter release and fire the strobe. After this bring the fire into the frame and slowly wave it around the model for 15 seconds.

Enjoy your flaming portrait.

REMEMBER to put down the flame in a safe manner once you are done. Keep canvas tarp, water, and fire extinguisher handy all the time.

Travis has a you tube post that will be helpful as well.

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