The most tangible of all visible mysteries – fire. ~Leigh Hunt
I think at one stage or another we’ve all been transfixed and drawn towards the magic of flames. Greek Mythology reads that Prometheus stole fire from Zeus and gave it to man to allow us to advance ourselves. We’ve done much with it, however we’ve lost a great deal as well. Like most, I’ve had a fascination with fire for as long as I can remember, and for the last eight years I’ve been able to work/play/experiment with a substance called methylacetylene-propadiene propane (MAPP gas). Late last Sunday night, after a busy day working around the house, I’d set up a space in one of our spare rooms as a studio/study and decided to try a little experiment that had been playing on my mind for a while. The results made me very excited to say the least and I worked on it until nearly midnight.
I set my 600D up on the tripod, and worked through all three of my lenses, starting with my 15-85mm, then 50mm and finally my 90mm. Set to manual focus, I had varying shutter speeds from 0.5 to 4s.
Disclaimer: I’ve been working with MAPP for nearly nine years, it can burn up to 2000 degrees C and can be very dangerous in untrained hands. PLEASE don’t try this at home, or anything like this, unless you are very aware of the dangers, and have the necessary personal protective equipment.
The gas was from an old bottle that had reached a level where it would not hold a flame anymore so was no use to me on the work site. The head I use on this bottle has a button for gas and ignite, so I could give a short blast of gas and ignite with a little pop. I then used a sparkler and gently rubbed it on the tip of the nozzle to get the yellow, and sparks.
I was stunned with the results and you can draw what you like from the images, ghosts, spirits, butterflies, galaxies… I guess they’re a little Rorschach-esque. These are unedited except for a little cropping and some rotating. Click them for larger version, these really benefit from being viewed large, and please let me know what you see in the photos. Enjoy.
This is only the beginning, I think I’ve got a few avenues to explore…
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