Shooting a Macro Photo of Sparks Flying Off a Lighter

This photograph by artist Chuck Anderson has received over 30,000 notes on Tumblr since it was posted back in September of 2010. It might look like a Photoshop creation, but Anderson assures us that what you see is straight off the camera.

He writes,

The lighter photos were taken with a Canon 5D Mark II and a Canon 100mm f2.8L Macro lens. The shooting mode was set to multi-shot, the shutter speed set to 1/8000 and the aperture at f2.8 with the ISO cranked up to 6400. I focused on the top of the lighter, started shooting, and flicked the lighter multiple times. Generally I would get about 5-6 shots of nothing and 2-3 shots of lighter action in every sequence. No tripod, flash, or light source was used. Camera was held in one hand, lighter in the other.

I took these after I got distracted from what I was supposed to be doing—taking pictures of all my work for the upcoming relaunch of Several years ago I did a collaboration with 555Soul and Bic. I have a lot of lighters from that project and was shooting those when I thought it would be fun to take a picture of the lighter in action. So all the lighter shots I’ve posted happened quite spontaneously and I was lucky enough to get some pretty cool ones.

As I said, these were technically straight off the camera, however I did crop in on them so I could show more detail and add a watermark. Other than that they are exactly as they were in-camera.

(via NoPattern via Photojojo)

Image credits: Photographs by Chuck Anderson and used with permission

  • jdm8

    It does have a magic sparkle look to it, I can see why people thought it might have been faked.

  • rtfe

    a Bic lighter is in the design section of MOMA. cool shot!!

  • MikeAlgar42

    One of my friends did this for his A Level Photography course, way back. I thought he had stolen the idea, I guess not.

  • Joseph McKee

    Been There…

  • rtfe

    why you no have 30,000 notes and publicity?

  • Jake Howe

    Set the camera to bulb mode, set it up in a dark room, then give the flint on your lighter a spin, and the camera will record all the light outputted resulting in the following effect

  • Jake Howe

    Which I then used to make this nice little picture –

  • John Stock

    Oh look at me.. I’ve already done this.. blah blah..
    Grow up.

  • rtfe

    i know, look at all the silly little pictures on this post. ha

  • Felipe Paredes Schulz

    please stop being bitches

  • Samuel

    Too much talent not enough drones 1-click reblogging. Like most people on tumblr with talent (said someone on tumblr who ISNT! bitter :)

  • rtfe

    whoa, way too many double negatives er, uh, thanks!!

  • Richard97

    No Talent.