Earthbound stars: Sparkler photography

Earthbound stars. Sparkler photography.

My husband brought these sparklers home for me last year specifically so I could take photos of them, but I put them in a drawer and forgot about them…until a couple of weeks ago! There’s still most of the packet left, so lots more opportunities for pictures. Now I’m thinking up interesting things to do with them 🙂

A few people have asked on Facebook and Instagram about the settings I used for this photo, so I thought it might be nice to share them here in case anyone else wants to have a go at photographing sparklers for the first time and isn’t sure where to start. This isn’t the only way to do it – it’s just the way I did it.

The sharpness of the sparks totally surprised me. I exposed for the lights in the background and expected to have to fiddle with the shutter speed a bit, but it worked out perfectly first time. I let the sparkler burn down a little bit before I took the photo so there was a lovely warm glow coming from just above and below the really bright part.

The camera settings:
Focal length: 55mm
Shutter speed: 1/10 second
Aperture: f10
ISO: 200

The physical composition:
The fairy lights in the background that are out of focus were about 6-8 feet away and I held the sparkler in front of the camera as close as I could get it while keeping it in focus and not setting anything on fire.

Adobe Camera Raw settings:
Temperature: 7900 (for warmth)
Tint: +65 (for the purpley tones)
Vibrance: +25
Dehaze: -10
With a slight post-crop vignette.

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