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How do you shoot a fireplace?
Old 12-05-2003, 02:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Help! I've never shot in front of a fireplace. How do I light a model reclining in front of a fireplace so that the fire doesn't wash out. Any tips would be greatly appreciated - my shoot is next week?
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Depends
Old 12-05-2003, 04:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Assuming flash lighting: Basically keep the lights that are lighting the model off the fireplace. In other words, no light from those lights should strike the main area where the fire is. Now do an exposure reading on the fire. Set the camera f-stop and shutter speed for that exposure reading. Now adjust the power of the lights to light the model properly for the f-stop above. Shoot the photo. The fire will be perfectly exposed and so will the model.
Cheers,
rfs
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wait till it gets cold, or turn on the a/c first...(grin)
Old 12-05-2003, 06:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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First, make sure your house isn't too hot! Safety first! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

Then "drag" your shutter while shooting. Two ways to do this, one way is to not get the surrounding light of the area where your model is posed.

Now fire will always change shapes and color as it burns, including light intensity, so if you want to really see what you're fire "reads" on your meter, turn out the lights and fill your frame with fire only and take a light meter reading, if it's f/5.6 at 1/4 of a second, then shoot at f/5.6 at 1/4 of a second with your flash source. LIghts out when you shoot, except the modeling light lighting your model to help you see the light and focus. This affect will give you effect of a romantic night.


You would set your light source to meter F5.6 to about 2/3 stops over, say f/7.1, then shoot at 1/4 of a second.

Now if you want the ambient light, take your meter and make sure in the same scenario that if you shoot at 1/4 of a second that you will read at least f/5.6 or 2/3 stop less of the scene itself. If you have this, shoot away, lights on. Normally you don't have that much ambient light to worry about it...all fails, bracket, and if you shoot digital, you normally can see your results--the bottom line of it all, is you "drag the shutter" to a slow shutter speed, this give you a "fire" look not a "frozen" look, just like you would drag the shutter when photographing a stream of water flowing--if you're shutter speed is too fast, it looks like frozen water. Hope that helps, thanks, rg sends!
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Re: wait till it gets cold, or turn on the a/c first...(grin)
Old 12-06-2003, 03:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks to all who offered advice. After a lot of trial and error, I finally managed to get the exposure I wanted, except for one small problem --- the fire started to die down, and I was out of logs. Lesson learned -- use a gas fireplace next time.



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Re: wait till it gets cold, or turn on the a/c first...(grin)
Old 12-13-2003, 09:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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wadded up newspaper ( not too tight ) burns up in a nice flash of flame, then goes away and you can try again. If heat is an issue, like when you have the subject close to the fireplace, this doesn't produce as much heat. Also, you don't have to wait hours for the logs to burn out to go away
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