Faces in the Fire
I love fire.
Wait… that sounds a bit like the confessions of an arsonist. Let me rephrase that.
I love campfires.
I actually love everything about camping- but at the apex of the camp experience is the campfire.
It’s where everyone comes together at the end of a long day, kids and parents, friends, neighbours. There are no prerequisite skills- there is no need to paddle to keep up, to be brave enough to jump off the rock, to be strong enough to hold on to a tube (upon which you are precariously and terrifyingly clutching whilst being dragged by a boat at ridiculous life endangering speed), or even to BE anything except be there. You can talk, or not. Sing, or not. Roast marshmallows, or not. You can sit, or stand it doesn’t matter. (I’ve found that boys like to hold sticks and poke at the logs regardless of their age, but you don’t have to do that either if you don’t want)
The campfire is a place of late nights, warding off the chill of the evening air, resisting sleep for a few more minutes, another hour or two, cherishing the experience, holding onto the moment. Staring at the fire relaxes people, opens them up, invites sharing, welcomes both raucous laughter and reflective silence – often periods of both at the same fireside.
I spent just an afternoon and evening at my favourite campground yesterday- Bon Echo Provincial Park near Cloyne Ontario. Circumstances this year didn’t allow my usual extended camping trip- just a visit to a friend’s site, but even a short time there was soothing.
It was more of a quiet, reflective fire last night, and as we stared side my side at the dancing flames, my friend and I decided to have some fun with our cameras, trying to capture the essence of the fire with different shutter speeds. I couldn’t help but notice the many images the seem to form moment-by-moment as the fire leapt and crackled. It seems no wonder to me that medieval artists formed flame-like brush-strokes to illustrate dragons and demons… the images just seemed to magically appear and vanish before my eyes.
What do you see within these fiery images?
This first set was taken at 1/2000, f2.8, ISO 250.
Not all images look scary though… this one reminds me of a cute garden gnome.
The next two I took at 0.3 sec exposure, and I had to move my ISO all the way down to 64.
I love that the longer shutter speed blurs the light into brighter, happier, dancing figures.