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Bonfire night

By charliejohn
Took this one last year at a local firework display in a nature park. Taken on the spur of the moment before everything got lit up by a burger van

Tags: Fire General Bonfire Silouhette

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dudler Plus
18 1.8k 1928 England
15 Oct 2018 9:21AM
Really challenging conditions - ideally, you need to choose whether to have detail in the shadows or the highlights. Full auto without expoisure compensation means there's not a lot of detail in either here.

You've composed it quite nicely, with the tree holding the picture together, and a triangle of flames behind.
mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.2k 2519 United Kingdom
15 Oct 2018 10:58AM
I really like this. Not a situation where a program would even occur to me. It's worked out quite well. But as John says, taking a bit more control, using a minus exposure compensation of around one stop, would give better detail in the flames and the actual bonfire structure.

I've added two modifications. I used the Camera Raw filter to reduce exposure and contrast slightly. I also slightly reduced saturation on yellow and red. That does retrieve a bit more detail in the flames.

The colour says hot, the overall atmosphere says cold winter evening. So I have added a b&w worked in Nik Silver Efex. I darkened slightly on the red and yellow channels and also used +15% on the Structure slider, which is way stronger than I would normally venture. I also burned in the blacks, which came out as a bit thin in places.I cropped tighter at the sides and added a narrow white border just for comparison, it contains the scene whereas borderless lets it merge into the overall black background used.
pamelajean Plus
16 1.7k 2253 United Kingdom
15 Oct 2018 5:23PM
I personally like your image as presented, Charlie.
I like the people and the tree in silhouette, with the strong hot colours of the flames behind.

I would just like the scene to be contained. The black EPZ background wasn't the best choice for this because it simply blends into the dark background of your image.
I've done a modification where I cropped to square (had to add a bit of canvas to the top), and slightly adjusted levels (to deepen the silhouettes), then gave it a thin border.

15 Oct 2018 5:54PM
Yes, after seeing the mass of black I did think I got it wrong using a dark background, still learning.

I like how your editing seems to increase the detail on the edge of the flames. I kept trying to do that with contrast and brightness changes but could not get as I wnated it but you have shown me it was possible so I will play with the software to work what I need to do to get the result, Thank you and everyone.
dudler Plus
18 1.8k 1928 England
15 Oct 2018 10:13PM
It's worth looking at what you do in software, as well as the camerawork... What software do you use, and which tools within it?

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