By Daniel Spellman. I’d always hated still life photography of flowers. It’s very subtle, peaceful, and contemplative work. Those are all the things I hate. So I decided to add some spark (literally) and have been experimenting with dripping some kerosene onto the flowers and setting them alight.
I always look forward to zooming in on the pictures afterwards to see what has happened. It’s a great example of how the camera can sometimes capture more than our eyes can.


Canon 5D Mark II; 100mm macro; AB800 with softbox key and speedlight

Don’s response

For a studio shot such as this, we take it for granted that the composition, lighting, exposure and focus will be spot on. What can’t be guaranteed is that the idea will be interesting. Happily that’s not a problem for Daniel Spellman’s arresting Burn.

Far from being a static studio shot, this is bursting with visual energy. It’s an object lesson in how to create a striking image from elements as simple as a dried up flower and a flame.

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