May 30, 2010

By The Light Of the Full Moon

One of my 2010 goals is to attend six Chicago Digital Photography Meet Up events. Back in January I attended the polar bear plunge with my friend Sarah, but since then I hadn't gone to any. Now that the weather is heating up, the the Meet Ups are much more frequent and with that the opportunities for photography are much more compelling.

Last Thursday I attended the Full Moon Fire Jam Meet Up, again with my friend Sarah. I'd been to the Full Moon Fire Jam years before with another photographer friend, however, I didn't bring a camera that time. Having gone before I knew the opportunities for interesting photos would be plentiful, so this was one Meet Up I wanted to attend.

The Full Moon Fire Jam takes place every full moon. A group of dozens of fire spinners and drummers meet in one of the lake shore parks and jam out for a good hour and a half under the light of the full moon. It's awesome. And if I do say so, my pictures from this jam turned out as awesome as I had hoped they would.

I shot manually the whole time, knowing that metering and capturing the light would be really tricky.  Photography is all about light and in this instance the light varied in brightness and was constantly moving. I really tried to test what I've learned about photography and capture the light in every way I knew how. I think I surprised myself a little with the variety of the types of shots I got out of this one event. I literally did not move from my spot all night. It was one of the best seats in the house - think fire dancers right in front and jamming drummers right behind. Since my view didn't change I changed the way my camera saw the scene.

I caught the fire spinner's spinning:




I caught the fire spinners faces:





And then I even stopped using the auto focus on my camera and started going abstract:


Doesn't that almost look like a painting?

But the three shots below are my absolute favorite. Usually these kinds of shots are a happy accident, but honestly, I knew how to catch these. And I couldn't be more proud. Pat on the back for me!

To give you an idea of the scene in its entirety, I even took a bit of video. The drummers make this event so I thought it only fair to show you their contribution as well.


One more goal this meet up helped me to accomplish is making it half way through my take 10,000 pictures in one year goal. I'm at 5,133 now with less than half the year over. Dare I say it, I just might blow my 2010 goals out of the water this year.

1 comment:

Megan Hoover-Swicegood said...

Coolest thing I've ever heard of. We have a community of fire spinners here but they meet randomly.

My favorite photo is of the guy on his knees, leaning forward, with the fire overhead and his tongue sort of sticking out - super cool.