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01 fIREMAN Nikon D300, Nikon DX 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5, f/5, 35 secs, ISO200

project info mission To ligh t up

the darkness, li terally and crea tively photographer Martin Smi th Age 46 Location Brough ty Ferry, Scotland Kit Nikon D800, Nikon AF-S DX 18-70mm f/3.54.5G ED, Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, Manfrot to 294 tripod, Nikon SB-700 Speedligh t, selec tion of filters WEB firechill foto

Spinner takes all

He used to shoot video, but Martin Smith has found a form of photography that satisfies his need for movement I came to photography from background in video. I’d never quite gotten photography before – I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to look at a still image as opposed to moving ones – but now the video camera has been sold, and I’ve invested in a Nikon D800. I think I’ve always had a secret fascination with fire, which is a world apart from my job as a safety officer on offshore oil and gas rigs – playing with fire out there is kind of frowned upon! After reading an inspirational

article in N-Photo, and doing a little research, I was ready to give fire spinning a try with my friend and fellow photographer Gus; this is the sort of project that’s more fun, and safer, to attempt with two of you.

Where to spin

The best locations I’ve found to fire spin are deserted train tunnels, derelict buildings (not flammable wooden ones!), and anywhere there’s water to give those glorious reflections. It’s also nice to have something in the foreground to silhouette

against the fire, and to give the photographs a sense of scale. It’s a real thrill standing in the pitch darkness with molten steel spinning only a few inches away; and believe me, you will feel the heat and smell the fumes. Remember, personal safety should always be your first consideration. Planning is vital and you really need to scout your locations in daylight first just in case there are any nasty surprises, especially around water. I find that making a rough sketch of what I want

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August 2014