Fire of Light

Springtime approaches and this means it is nearly time to head back outdoors! Normally the cold does not bother me so much, but this winter seemed to be exceptionally frigid with temperatures often below 20 f. Maybe it is just because this out of shape body does not tolerate sub 20 degree f temps any more. The past few days have given me spring fever, the kind of fever that makes me want to get outside and shoot.

Spring is filled with warm days and cool nights and that means it is time to unwrap the fire pit. Last fall I started a personal project I call the “Fire Pit Portraits”. Simply, portraits by the light of a fire pit.


This is actually a bit challenging. Tripod is a must as shutter speed is slow and aperture is wide open. I think the bigger challenge may be for my subjects who need to get really close to the fire. Not so much for the heat and flames which they are well protected from but for the sudden change in the direction of smoke. Yes, I am kind enough to make sure they are positioned accordingly…


Color cast of course bleeds a bit on the orange/red side, but why wouldn’t it? I am still a bit torn how much to correct that, if at all. I think it adds to the meaning of the image so I have been tending to leave most of it in.


I really like how these images turn out, they certainly have a different feel to them than what I am used to. But, this is why I love photography so much, each situation is unique, each person different and when you are playing with light like this you never know what you are going to get. Need to increase the power? Throw some wood in. Decrease it? Sit back, relax and wait.


 Focusing can be a bit of a challenge as well so it is a great time to work on those manual focus skills. Most of the images are shot at around 0.5 seconds, f1.8,  this next one of my daughter was at 2.8, 1.6 seconds. Ever try to get a teen to be still for 1.6 seconds in a setting like this? Very difficult indeed.


I am a bit envious of this next young lady as she is soon to be off to Hawaii for her first semester of college. Way to go!


This was my first in the series and the one that created the inspiration for the project. My Sparkplug does it again.


The kicker in all of this? Snow is on its way for one more day. Hmmm, snow, a great big reflector. Plus a full moon…Time to go set the fire pit up!

Thanks for stopping by!


Published by Phil Shepherd

Capturing my interpretation of this world and its inhabitants... I am a Headshot and Portrait Photographer and supporter of Live, Local Music. This offering is dedicated mainly to Mom Nature and the travels I indulge in with her.

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