Techniques to Photograph Fire and Pyrotechnics During Daytime Hours

If you’ve ever thought the difference between digital and film photography was simply a matter of media, think again. There’s just no comparing the level of detail hidden in the average RAW file with what you’re bound to get out of an old-school photo negative. So when an abandoned Belgian abbey and a team of Brazilian martial-artists fell in photographer Benjamin Von Wong‘s lap for a daytime shoot, the sunny skies didn’t dissuade him from getting collaborator and fire-eater Andrey DAS to join:

In the video, Von Wong is pretty stingy with the details of his setup, but from the looks of things he’s definitely not winging it. His Ranger Quadra lighting system is there to highlight his subjects out of the already plentiful ambient light. This kind of lighting is often enough to cast the background in a nondescript shadow, but the details in these photos is remarkable.

pyrotechnics photography daylight

Obviously, these shots were not without post processing—the sharpness and contrast give them an HDR appearance—but every crack in the wall or bit of mortar between bricks that’s visible didn’t come from nowhere. Every one of those fine details landed on Von Wong’s Nikon’s sensor, and it’s just a matter of using the right tools to extract them. Try doing that with an enlarger and the chemical bath of film processing.

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