Thursday, April 19, 2007

Fire Spinning

Even though beaches and abandoned buildings are my favorite subject for night photography, I'm always interested in trying out something new. A few years ago I had some success doing fashion photography at night, but last weekend I hit on something else that was really fun.

(Leah Fire Spinning, by Andy Frazer)

Leah Bailey and Brian Saccomano have been fire spinning for the past seven years. We shot these photographs in a friend's backyard (fortunately, they seemed to be on good terms with their neighbors). There's definitely an element of random chance while shooting fire spinners. You never know exactly how the flame trails nor the dancer's pose will look until you review the images. You also have a limited time to shoot each setup because the poi only burn for about three minutes (then the spinners have to go through a non-trivial process of re-soaking the poi and priming them before you can set up another series of shots). And, of course, you can only shoot as fast your flash can recharge itself.

We were all pleased with the final shots (and I had a great, private fire spinning show!). This is definitely something I want to do again, even if it's just to breakup the slow, methodical process of "real" night photography.


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