This week I took pictures of my family playing with sparklers. You guys, making this weeks picture was so much fun - except for the part where Riley burned her finger on a sparkler and then I felt guilty for giving a 5 year old a sparkler. But other than that, this was a cool experiment for me.
Normally, when taking pictures I try to have a low ISO, a wide open aperture (to get some good bokeh), and a fast shutter speed (imperative so I don't have a blurry child), but with sparklers (and fireworks which I took pictures of earlier this week) you want a slow shutter or a long exposure.
So last night I gave my nephews and my sister in law some sparklers and asked them to spin them and write words and this is some of what we got.
Above, we tied a sparkler to a string and spun it around. The faster you move the sparkler the smoother the lines. Below you can see that Cade spelled his name slowly as the lines are thicker and sparklier.
Writing words with sparklers is a bit challenging since you need to write backwards (or flip the picture in editing). Susee is the master of writing backwards and whipped out Riley's name in no time flat.
Tips if you want to try this:
- Camera settings - ISO 100, Aperture 11 (although in my previous try I had it at 16 and would probably do that again next time), and Shutter Speed was set on Bulb (I just held the shutter down until the writing was completed). I also tried the Shutter Speed at 10 - 20 seconds with some other pictures.
- Use a remote or wired shutter to help lesson the shake from touching the on camera shutter button
- Use a flashlight or phone to focus on your subject and then change your auto focus to manual before taking your shot.
- Be mindful of other lights and distractions in the background.
I had so much fun trying something new to me and can't wait to play with long shutter speed more.