So last week I had the pleasure of making a special image for some good friends of mine. I shot their wedding a couple years ago and it was rad being able to share in this new chapter of their lives.
They had asked me to help them make a Baby announcement using a sparkler to write out the words in the air. I have done stuff like this in the past but nothing of this size. Doing some research online I found a lot of information on different techniques and how-to's but the ones I saw all tried to complete the image in one go. To me this seemed strange and way harder than it had to be. I realized getting it all done in one frame instead of the composite in some instances would be the best way, but for a job like this I figured I would go with the composite route.
Here is what we used and a couple of tips:
1. Nikon D810 on a tripod
2. Long lasting sparklers and a GOOD lighter
3. A flashlight to help the camera focus in the low to no light before taking the image. You could also hold up a phone or some sort of light for the camera to see. After getting focus in the desired area, I turned off the auto-focus so it would not try and refocus every frame.
4. PATIENCE... these things can take time, so don't get frustrated if you are not getting what you want on the back of the camera. Take a breath and think about what you need to do with either your camera or set to get what you need. And take more images then you think you will need. Better safe then sorry, especially with composites.
5. A marker and a piece of paper to draw out what you want the sparkler to say. Remember the person who writes the words in the air has to do them backwords for the camera... so it helps to have a little practice and to visualize what you want it to look like.
Below you will see the process and at the end our final image....