Ian Cambourne  

Bonfire by Ian Cambourne

July 2021 - Bonfire

About the Image(s)

A fortnight ago a group of friends and I had our annual bonfire. While a fire can be hypnotic, we can't see the intricate details of the flames with our naked eyes. I enjoy pointing a camera at the flames and cranking the shutter speed up to the camera's maximum. I also enjoy capturing images at 1/10 and seeing the flames "dance". Details for this image are: Sony a850; Sigma 70-200 at 200; ISO 1250; f4; 1,8000; pattern metering & monopod mounted. Processed in LR then PS with some nik filters.

8 comments posted

Henriette Brasseur   Henriette Brasseur
I appreciate the explanation of how you achieved the intricate details of the flames. The isolation of colors, red against black, really shows the "dancing flames" and the diagonal of the flames makes for a strong image...guess the flames were a bit much to stick some hot dogs in? I could look at this image for a long time...maybe it's the
symmetry of the flames.   Posted: 07/06/2021 13:59:54
Ian Cambourne   Ian Cambourne
Thanks Henriette, bonfires are one of my favourite subjects. This one at its peak was huge, about 20 feet across at its base. Way too big and hot for hot dogs and marshmallows.   Posted: 07/12/2021 04:21:11

Trey Foerster   Trey Foerster
Every flame burst like this has a face. Have you seen it yet? I used to shoot fires as a photojournalist and I can say that the "face" is always in such a burst (HINT: 1/3 in from right, below the black area!). You have done well in processing this image and I like the contrast with the black background. The blur at ISO 200 is effective here. Nice capture!   Posted: 07/07/2021 15:22:44

Ian Cambourne   Ian Cambourne
Thanks Trey. Yes fires, like clouds always get people looking for faces. I wonder why that is? Have you noticed how the clouds always seem more friendly, while the fires tend to be more sinister.   Posted: 07/12/2021 04:24:06
Trey Foerster   Trey Foerster
I suppose fires are linked to Satan and clouds to Heaven, though either fire or clouds can be menacing or helpful.   Posted: 07/19/2021 17:49:19

Heidi Egerman   Heidi Egerman
This is mesmerizing, as many fires are. I can almost see the flames moving. This makes a beautiful abstract. My eye simply follows the flames upward. I like this image a lot. I can't see anything that you could have done differently. Well done.
  Posted: 07/14/2021 16:38:00

Jay Joseph   Jay Joseph
A very creative and unique photo Ian. I like the contrast of the orange and black. I do find it relaxing to just stare into the photo. Very well done.   Posted: 07/17/2021 20:51:22

Sophie Pouillon
I like this image because it freezes a furtive, almost impalpable moment of the life of a fire.
My father was a marble worker, a stone cutter and specialized in fireplaces. The fireplace has always been a part of my life. It has a hypnotic side.
Here what appeals to me are the flames for the flames and the beauty of the dance that emerges from them. No reference to the wood, to the paper that allowed the fire to be lit, no reference to the image with a pile of wood.
It is the abstraction that allows us to look at the flames for their beauty.
This image is dynamic and at the same time frozen. It is very interesting.
  Posted: 07/18/2021 01:11:33


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