Fire painting

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Fire painting is a photographic lighting technique using fire as a light source. The term fire painting also encompasses images lit from outside the frame using fire sources.


By moving the fire source, the fire can be used to selectively illuminate parts of the subject or to "paint" a picture by moving it around the subject the camera lens. Fire Painting requires a slow shutter speed, usually a second or more. Alternatively shooting fire to capture its unique texture and shape requires very fast shutter speed, normally 1000th of a second.


Primary items required are Kevlar ropes or straps, these are then soaked in Coleman fuel or Paraffin[disambiguation needed] and lit - a variety of devices can be used to hold these, ranging from metal frames to tie the straps to or long poles to hang the strap from.

A tripod is usually necessary due to the long exposure times involved. Alternatively, the camera may be placed on or braced against a table or other solid support. A shutter release cable or self timer is generally employed in order to minimize camera shake.

Primary items required.

Safety First[edit]

Please know that playing with fire and flammable fluid is very dangerous.

Please make sure you follow some basic safety advise before you continue.

  • Never light the strap close to the open container of flammable fluid. Flammable fluid will be dripping off the strap when you remove it from the jug which will leave a trail of flammable fluid on the ground - this will catch fire.
  • Always close your flammable fluid bottle. Move it far away from where your jug/starting point will be.
  • Stay clear of anything that can catch fire, bushes, trees, grass and cars.
  • Keep a wet towel close by, wrap this around the strap to kill the flames.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher close by, just in case.
  • Once you have completed the pass you will extinguish the flame by wrapping the strap/rope in a wet towel, ensure this is prepared and ready.
  • Use your common sense. You do this at your own risk and that of others around you.
  • Never do this alone, always take an assistant with you.


External links[edit]