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Burn and Shoot

Herbert Wannhoff Lights a Match

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FotoTV Warning: “When reproducing the following Film-Workshop in your studio, we urgently advise you to heed the necessary measures relevant to the safety precautions for flammable materials."

For most photographers, photographing an igniting match for the first time can be a tricky thing – in this FotoTV tutorial, photographer Herbert Wannhof is back again to share some very useful information on exactly how to do it.

Shooting a single flame of a match as it is being lit is one of those photo ideas that seem simple at first, until you actually try it yourself, and in this film Wannhof concisely demystifies shooting matches and rising smoke. Providing step-by-step instructions and beginning with tips and techniques, Wannhof briefly goes through his lighting set-up, which consists of two spots with snoot attachments; one for the igniting flame and one for the back-lighting to emphasize the plume of smoke rising from the match.

In less than no time what results is a stunning capture. The saturated color, the movement, the softness of the smoke, the composition, and the sharpness all come together to form a brilliant image.

Although finding the perfect moment to photograph an igniting match and plume of smoke is key, Wannhof says, “ It definitely does take some patience and practice, but by using the right equipment soon enough you can guess the time you have to take the shot.” Wannhof recommends using only an SLR as the shutter release delay is pretty much non-existent, and of course a macro lens to capture all the glorious details.

In conclusion, this is a very useful tutorial that will certainly help photographers diversify their talent and experiment with their creativity to produce professional special effects photography right out of their own studio.

Wannhof’s primary points of interests, and therefore his specialties are; portrait and nudes and special effects photography, as well as devoting more time to further develop his interest in panoramic photography. He also works as a consultant for Artlight-Studios in Leichlingen, Germany, a fully equipped and easily accessible studio, which is very "photographer-friendly".


Very good video!

Very good video!