Sparklers are one of my favorite things, bringing so many memories of childhood. Recently my daughter (3) was playing with some sparklers and discovered the joy of these fantastic things, which formed the inspiration for taking these photos. I really wanted to see what these sparklers looked like up close, with the sparkles shooting from the rod, with a Macro style lens.
To capture these images, I set the camera up on a tripod and aimed it towards the sparkler at a fairly close distance (<20 cm). Because the sparklers do produce fire which can damage the lens I used a crappy UV filter on the front of the lens to protect the Macro lens itself. Once this was set up, I focused the lens on the (unlit) sparkler, and set the aperture (i used a high aperture e.g. f/11 – f/16). I then set metering to spot metering where the spot was on the sparkler. I did this because I wanted the background to be dark, and since the sparkler produces so much light, by spot metering it would meter for the bright bit and leave the background dark(er).
Once the lens was focused, i switched it to manual focus (so it did not have to focus hunt) and fired some test shots which worked fine. The camera was on aperture priority since it meant I did not have to worry about many of the settings and could focus on the intent of the images. I then lit the sparkler, and started capturing images before importing and tweaking them in Adobe LightRoom.
As with all of my images, I use Nikon gear. This is not because I think Nikon is better than Canon but just because it is what I got started with and wanted to maintain lens compatibility. The images were captured / edited with the following gear;
- Nikon D610 DSLR
- Sigma 150mm Macro Lens
- Wireless Trigger (to trigger the capture)
- Adobe lightroom (for editing)