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Old Jun 14, 2005, 9:58 PM   #1
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Recently, a new upscale shopping mall opened in the city of Tualitin, OR, about ten miles south of Portland. This mall has been beautifully done in modern European style architecture. There is still work in progress to complete the project.

In the central courtyard, there is an unusual fountain. The fountain is made of stacked flat stones with a continually burning gas flame at the top. Water comes out of slots about a foot above the bottom.

Here are four shots showing some of the problems associated with shooting flames. The first shot shows the complete fountain with a beautiful sculpture of a young lady in front. In this shot, the flames show quite well.

The second shot has a bright background. Even though the camera was only about a foot from the flame, it is difficult to see.

The third shot has a dark background and is spot metered on the flame.

The fourth shot shows a fairly good view of the flame and some of the architecture in the background.

In the second, third and fourth shots, if you look closely at the background, you can see distortion and bluring caused by the heat rising from the flames. Hopefully, these shots help to illustrate some of the difficulties photographing fire.

Cal Rasmussen
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Old Jun 14, 2005, 11:21 PM   #2
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Hey Cal,
What an unusual fountain! Nice find, I think your series also displays that not only are the camera settings important, but also what is behind the flame. In the shot with a dark background, the flame stands out nicely, but against the light colored building it blends in, except for the spot where the dark window is behind it. Nice and sharp pictures though. What is the reason or story for the statue?
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Old Jun 14, 2005, 11:57 PM   #3
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nice work cal!

like gocubs said, your pictures show how important the background is in shooting fire!

the first is very well composed, but i think a wider angle would work better to decompress the foreground from the background..

nice series!

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