Creating A Fire Faucet

Guest post by Justin McKee

Alrighty, here’s part two of the photo manipulation series. The picture above is very simple to create, but it can be a little tedious to properly make what’s in your head a reality.

You’ll need a sink, a lighter (preferably a longer one for candles) and a camera with a tripod. Half the effort in making this photograph work was getting the flame to look the way I wanted. I set up my camera near the sink and played with a lot of different angles until I found the right one.

I then set my shutter speed to six seconds long. You’ll need a longer shutter speed so you don’t appear in the photo and so the flame has plenty of time to move about.

My aperture was a no-brainer: I wanted the background to be blurred heavily so I stuck to f/2.8.

My ISO was also a no-brainer: I wanted a clean photograph so I stuck to ISO 250.
Here’s where the work comes in.

Using a shutter release remote to begin the exposure, I stood near the sink and lit the lighter right next to the sink and moved it semi-slowly up and down from the end of the spout to the bottom of the sink.

Moving the lighter fast enough ensures you don’t burn your sink; that’s fairly important.
No fires, please. Be safe!

For this final shot I started with the flame near the spout and quickly moved the flame downward to create the blue glow in-between the final spurt of flame near the sink — this makes it look like I’d only just turned the hellish faucet on.

Keeping the camera in the same position, I stepped into the photograph to get a shot of my hand holding the faucet open. If the faucet has the appearance of just being turned on, a hand should be somewhere in the shot. I also had a friend help with the lighting by clicking on the lighter near the sink so my hand would have the same lighting as the previous shot.

Similarly to the last post, I just blended the two images together in Photoshop and did some minor color correction.

I’m fairly pleased with how this turned out.

Now, you might be asking why I would want fire to come out of my sink …

I dunno. It was a fun idea I found on the Internet a few years ago and I just like how it looks.

In the next post I mess around with scale in photography!


Justin McKee is a small-town photographer with big ideas living in Michigan. In addition to portraits, wedding photography and video, he also enjoys wildlife photography. He always seeks to learn more about his craft.

About Karin

Journalist, singer, reader, movie fanatic, photography buff, GVSU alum, wanna-be-Brit, Crohn’s fighter, Coca-Cola addict, animal lover, not a kid person, hater of winter, Michigander

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