HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH A BARN BURNING AT NITE
THE LOCAL FIRE DEPARTMENT IS BURNING DOWN A BARN BELONGING TO A FRIEND. I NEED SOME ADVICE ON HOW TO SHOOT THIS FIRE. THEY WILL START AT 7:30 IN EVENING, SO THE LIGHT WILL BE LOW AND GO INTO DARKNESS. HELP, PLEASE
John A. Lind
As a starting point for exposure (assuming you will do this hand held):
You shouldn't need a shutter speed faster than 1/125th. The above is a "starting point" for exposure and for planning film and lenses you will use. It's based on the light given off by a relatively "fully engulfed" structure with a fair amount of flames outside the structure. Near the beginning and near the end the lighting from the fire will not be nearly as bright.
You can sihlouette the firefighters by shooting from behind them. From the side, the light from the fire will illuminate their faces (side lighting). Of course, it should be obvious to remain a safe distance from the barn as it will likely collapse while it is burning.
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