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UER Forum > Rookie Forum > How do you take night pictures of a fire? (Viewed 2293 times)
Radio2600 


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How do you take night pictures of a fire?
< on 8/5/2019 4:02 AM >
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I frequently drive past a place where they store natural gas in underground caverns. Periodically they flare off waste.

It's quite impressive to see at night. 30' (10m) long tongue of flame in the middle of field.

I've tried to photograph it in the past. I can get the landscape perfectly, but the fire is just an orange blob.

Any pointers on how to get a clear picture of the fire?




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randomesquephoto 


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Re: How do you take night pictures of a fire?
< Reply # 1 on 8/5/2019 6:06 AM >
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Could you post the picture you have? With the fire. That looks like a blob?




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Radio2600 


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Re: How do you take night pictures of a fire?
< Reply # 2 on 8/5/2019 6:31 AM >
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I deleted them.

I'll go take some more.




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blackhawk 

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Re: How do you take night pictures of a fire?
< Reply # 3 on 8/5/2019 1:22 PM >
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Sometimes here you can see dozens in the distance.
Impressive at night but looks like crap on the image.
For one that's close try flash filling.
Otherwise try shooting near dawn or dusk.

For focus, manual or pick an AF lock on from a point at the same distance as flame -not- the flame.
Laser pointers work well.
The cam's AF sensors may be getting overwhelmed by all the near IR that's constantly moving; can't lock on.
Had the same issue with my stupid phone.



[last edit 8/5/2019 1:26 PM by blackhawk - edited 1 times]

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ryanpics 


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Re: How do you take night pictures of a fire?
< Reply # 4 on 8/6/2019 12:17 AM >
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Experiment with different shutter speeds. Don't be afraid to make everything really dark other than the flame. Just experiment and see what works.




Abby Normal 


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Re: How do you take night pictures of a fire?
< Reply # 5 on 8/6/2019 3:10 AM >
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This can be a tricky one. If the blur is because of the photo being out of focus, then of course that can be corrected by using a tripod and manually focusing.

The more likely scenario is that the camera is using a long-ish exposure which results in movement blur. This is one of the few occasions that I would set my camera to shutter priority. It's been a lot of years, but I would start by setting my shutter to 250 or 500. Depending on how much depth of field you want, open the aperture pretty wide. Lastly, use your ISO to achieve the exposure you like.

With a bit of practice, you'll develop a feel for the setting that work best for your camera and the effect you are trying to achieve.

Abby



[last edit 8/6/2019 5:24 PM by Abby Normal - edited 1 times]

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.DNG 


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Re: How do you take night pictures of a fire?
< Reply # 6 on 8/6/2019 4:18 AM >
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I would try a faster shutter speed and using a tripod if the space allows. Sounds like you have the landscape down pat, so if possible maybe take separate exposures for the flame and the background, then combine in post?




NotBatman 


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Re: How do you take night pictures of a fire?
< Reply # 7 on 8/6/2019 2:31 PM >
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Expose for the fire and pull up what shadows you can in post.

Use a tripod to frame it so any dark negative space that you can't put light into or pull light out of works with the image.

It'll take some experimenting, for sure.




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blackhawk 

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Re: How do you take night pictures of a fire?
< Reply # 8 on 8/6/2019 5:26 PM >
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Unfortunately the cam doesn't have the dynamic range of our composite cone/rod eyes or the processing power of the visual cortex intergrating these discreet inputs from the cone/rods.
You can't shoot what you are seeing at night with something like this.

Tripod, focus, s/setting etc aside, a early dawn or dusk shot will probably produce a better image of what you are seeing.
You need some ambient light otherwise you wouldn't have enough dynamic range to capture anything except the flame... which isn't impression with no reference points.

Stopping down to len's sweet spot or a bit higher will help if you can keep the shutter speed high enough. The velocity of the gases can be fairly fast so the flame is in constant flux.
Freezing it for a clean shot is an issue without completely drowning out everything else or blowing out the flame exposure setting.

Play with different metering modes; this may help once you get the ambient light level sorted out.



Lol, it's easier to street shoot gang bangers than gas flares at night





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DarkAngel 


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Re: How do you take night pictures of a fire?
< Reply # 9 on 8/9/2019 1:24 AM >
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If it's a long continuous burst of flame, you'll need a short shutter speed to get any detail. Downside is either you'll have to take another shot and blend in post, or just deal with having a black frame with fire in it.

Short duration flashes are easy. Long duration stuff gets complicated fast.




Radio2600 


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Re: How do you take night pictures of a fire?
< Reply # 10 on 10/9/2019 3:41 AM >
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Thanks for all the input.

I have to get back there and do experimenting.




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Dee Ashley 


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Re: How do you take night pictures of a fire?
< Reply # 11 on 5/22/2020 5:32 AM >
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I’m curious how this turned out....

Any pics?




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Radio2600 


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Re: How do you take night pictures of a fire?
< Reply # 12 on 5/23/2020 1:55 AM >
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Posted by Dee Ashley
I’m curious how this turned out....

Any pics?


Not very well because they haven't been flaring off gas lately.





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Re: How do you take night pictures of a fire?
< Reply # 13 on 5/25/2020 5:30 AM >
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If you can't smell burning plastic, you aren't doing it right.




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Dee Ashley 


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Re: How do you take night pictures of a fire?
< Reply # 14 on 5/26/2020 9:39 PM >
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Posted by Radio2600


Not very well because they haven't been flaring off gas lately.




Oh, yeah. Good point.




I wandered till the stars went dim.
Radio2600 


Location: On the Road to Wellville
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Re: How do you take night pictures of a fire?
< Reply # 15 on 5/28/2020 3:52 AM >
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Posted by Harvestman
If you can't smell burning plastic, you aren't doing it right.


That was a different outing.








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Dee Ashley 


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Re: How do you take night pictures of a fire?
< Reply # 16 on 6/2/2020 8:08 PM >
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Posted by Radio2600


That was a different outing.







Ouch!
That looks worse than my almost catastrophic electrical faux pax.




Damn, that really does suck though.
Not to bring up the painful memories of the past, but what kind of camera/lens was that?




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Radio2600 


Location: On the Road to Wellville
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Re: How do you take night pictures of a fire?
< Reply # 17 on 6/4/2020 10:36 PM >
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Posted by Dee Ashley

but what kind of camera/lens was that?


EOS 60D with EF 24-70mm






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UER Forum > Rookie Forum > How do you take night pictures of a fire? (Viewed 2293 times)


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