Scavenger Hunt #28 – Matches

The interpretation of the theme is very straightforward, but I like this image a lot. It’s the first time I made lit matches pictures (and probably any kind of matches pictures). It made me somewhat nervous initially because of the fire hazard and, while it’s still literally playing with matches, I think the whole ordeal is safer than I initially thought – I probably struck more than 100 matches on that afternoon and I didn’t scare myself once.

I had started with a binder clip to hold the matches, but it was somewhat flimsy; Pierre suggested the third hand instead, and that worked out better. Bonus: while I was expecting it to not appear at all in the final picture, I ended up liking the aesthetics of it A Lot (to me it does have a strong Westworld vibe to it, and I’m all for it).

The final setup ended up looking a lot like this:

Third hand holding the matches, settled on a flimsy light tripod (but with a sturdy, flat tripod head), put on top of oven plates (there to catch ashes and whatever hot stuff may fall from the matches), water and fire blanket on hand, black background far enough that the probability that it accidentally catches fire is very low. And a lighter, because no way I’m going to actually strike the matches to light them in this setup 🙂

And then I shot, re-shot, re-re-shot… Some setup also implied an extra Lume cube moving around at some point – the “out of the camera” images were better, but the reflections on the arm ended up being more distracting than useful. I now have a metric ton of fire pictures in different configurations. This is the original picture, with only minor RAW development operations:

CameraPentax K-1 II
LensHD PENTAX-D FA 24-70mm F2.8 ED SDM WR
Focal length63mm
F-NumberF/5.0
Exposure time1/50 s
ISO400

Nothing particularly fancy on the final edit – the dynamic range between the very bright flames flames and the third hand in the shadows was a bit tricky to handle, but not too bad.

For more interpretations of the theme, see the Matches Scavenger album!

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