Canon 5D Mark III | 50mm | F2.5 | 1/400 | ISO1000
Yes, we are all fascinated by all things that we can see with the naked eye. Or at least long enough to be able to analyse in great detail. I shot this image today at the welding bench. I wanted to capture the sparks flying, but in a nice even spread out way with perhaps one two large occurrences in focus and the rest of them not so (the sparks that is). F2.5 enabled me to lock onto just before the tip of this piece of metal I was grinding. I deliberately did not lock on to the tip where it touches the grind wheel, because I wanted the lower guard to stay in focus also, otherwise it would have been a distraction.
First I tried shooting this at F1.8, and I wasn’t particularly happy with the look of it. It was hugely difficult (and a game of luck and chance) to get any decent spark flying and in focus. I knew I didn’t want to shoot at F3.2 or above because it would start to introduce distractions in the background which I did not want. The bench I was working on was (and still is) very messy, and would only take away from the fact that these sparks look awesome.
With every shot like this, when take a certain level of luck and chance, I shot off a few images. But chose this one because of the warm glow it gave the scene overall. I liked the way the sparks seemed to have lit up the surrounding area a little, making them seem really HOT!
This image is a crop of the original. About 1/4-5th of the image was cropped out of the frame simple because I couldn’t focus in close enough with the 50mm. I knew whilst shooting that I would be cropping later just because I wanted to get rid of the dead-space on the left hand side.
I applied some very light split toning in Lightroom to enhance the warm glow a tiny bit in the highlights, and also a little greeny/blue tint in the shadows to get that cross processed effect (Often seen and overused on instagram).
There wasn’t much available light at the time, hence why I was shooting up in the ISO 1000 range, however, this tends to not make much of a noticeable difference with the Mark III until you get into ISO 1600-2000.
I would like to do some experimental photos on shooting long exposure sparks, possibly even with a catherine wheel late one evening, I love all things long exposure, super high speed, timelapse and slow-motion. All things we can’t naturally see with the human eye. Fascinating stuff for sure.
Thanks for viewing, and I hope these daily entries are as interesting to others as they are to me!