slave drew and I rode over on the scooter tonight to see our friends, Mark and Christine. Mark is a very talented photographer and he’d talked to drew about helping him set up a photo shoot, which is what we did tonight.
Mark’s idea was to use a very slow shutter speed, 30 seconds or so, and take photos of a spinning fire. The fire was created by filling an egg whisk with steel wool, setting it alight, then spinning it on the end of a chain.
By using a very slow shutter speed, you get the image of the fire spinning in a circle, throwing off sparks.
Of course, sometimes the whisk also flies off the end of the chain, causing some of us to scatter.
We must have tried it about a half dozen times, with varying success, although we ended up with at least three or four photos that are quite impressive. They will get some manipulation after the initial capture of the image.
I have always loved photography for one reason in particular. It is an image of a moment in time.
Looking through my family pictures, I know that my Aunt Rosebud stood just so, one foot turned to the side, smiling at the camera, on Easter Sunday in 1926.
I know that my father, dressed just so, had my oldest brother sitting in front of him on the horse he rode, cowboy hats on both their heads, the spring of 1947.
I know that my other brother had a pair of homemade stilts that he wore around the neighborhood, the same summer he wore a single red die with a hole drilled through it, around his neck on a pull chain, back in 1960.
And I know that I’ll look back sometime on the photos taken tonight and remember the ride over, the scattering when the chain gave way, the fire flying through the air, spinning circles of light.