I am holding in my hand a bag of sparklers that just ripped open and I bought this last year the day after the Fourth of July. The reason I bought them the day after is because they were on sale and I’ve got to keep them all year for photographic purposes. And the reason why I bought this is because you can make very creative photographs with them such as these.
Now I’m going to show you how to make photographs like that but before I do I wanted to also tell you that you can pick up California Candles usually like gigantic sparklers and really I would recommend getting a bunch of this and not just regular baby dinky sparklers because these put those to shame. So let’s get ready and do it.
The first step of course is to make sure that your camera is on a sturdy tripod. The second step is to make sure that you’ve set it on manual mode so we can adjust the shutter speed and aperture independently. The next step after some manual mode is to set the shutter speed. It depends on what you want to get but I would suggest either using the bulb mode. This is where you hold down the shutter and then let go and then the exposure is done or if you can put it on a self-timer something and then put it on like say four seconds and then you would have to adjust the aperture accordingly.
I would test out different numbers. If you go into like F11 you’ll see more of the sparks. Just the sparks and not the ambient lighting that it gives out to the environment but if you go really wide, it will make the sparks brighter and blown out whites and also it might even light up the subject in the environment around.
Next scene you might consider using is the flash. If you use the flash it will light up the person holding a sparkler so you will be able to see the sparks flying around and also the subject holding it.
Now there are two ways you can use a flash. If you just put the flash on like that without any addition or like settings it will fire the flash right as the exposure begins. However, if you put it to the same it says rear it will flash the flash right as the exposure is ending. I would recommend using rear if possible. So now that you know that your camera needs to be on a sturdy tripod and to have a long shutter speed going all we got to do now is wait until it gets dark.
So we’re at our darkest now and you maybe wondering how am I going to get focus when it’s completely dark. All we’re going to have to do is put your -- you’re going to have to light your subject with the flashlight just like I am right now. It’s a flashlight behind the camera. And then you’re going to have to do push the auto focus button and then after it’s done focusing, switch it to menu focus and that’s it.
You can also simply point the flashlight directly at the camera and then focus that way, then switch back to manual focus.
I taped string to the end of this sparkler and then span it around in circles down the road. I’ve found that Pixi Stix have a better design compared to the ones with the paper wrapping. They are very reliable, but only in one color.
You can also have then post process your images and make a very symmetrical pattern with them and you can change the colors so they can vary psychedelic on--