I had the recent pleasure of attending a wedding in Tros Yr Afon, Anglesey, North Wales
As the chief photographer I had a very open brief with the photography. Standard shots were required of the guests and bride and groom during the day. Towards the end of the day I wanted to try and create some more unusual photos that you don't tend to see in a traditional wedding album.
I had an idea of what I wanted to achieve for this photo; the idea was to have a burning frame, framing the bride and groom.
I started by creating a timber frame, approx size 1.7m x 0.7m out of timber (63mm x 38mm) cheap from B&Q.
I screwed it all together with some brackets and then realised it would not stand up properly, so a modification was made in the form of two feet at either side to steady the frame.
Setting the Fire - sounds like an easy part (wrong)! I covered the whole frame in BBQ lighter fluid which proved to be a difficult purchase in February before the main BBQ season! After tracking down the required product I soaked the frame for several hours in fluid then when i had the bride & groom where I wanted them I set fire to the frame. It went off like a firework for about 10 seconds and then was out on most sides, more lighter fluid was added which had a similar effect and was very short lived. Luckily the owner had some BBQ gel, the frame was put out and covered in thick white gel and the bride & groom took their positions behind the frame.
This gel now seemed to burn more evenly and at a slower pace which allowed the frame to go black as it burned all over; at this stage I managed to get some decent shots of the couple.
This good effect did not last well, so I had to be quick! After a couple of minutes of proper burning the legs burned off and the frame collapsed so that was it for the day. However, I was pleased with the final result and pleased that I'd tried this technique.
Post processing in Photoshop I cropped the images tighter to the frame and desaturated the image except for areas of the fire.
Reflection - I achieved what I set out to do but I did learn some valuable lessons along the way. Firstly the frame should have been more 3-2 to match the print size closer, I should have used a tripod and got it all squared up properly in the frame. I also could have used an additional assistant - the owner was great but I also had to do bits and then suddenly run around to grab the shot. I used my canon 580 flash gun and this produced some unreliable results as i think the camera was metering off the flames, some shots were over exposed and some under exposed / very dark unusable results.
I hope this helps you try and be bit more daring with your photography.