Great Balls of Fire

August 07, 2015  •  6 Comments

I’m sure you’re all getting tired of the same old images that I share like waterfalls, mountains, wildflowers, etc.  Well, here’s something a bit different so don’t change the channel just yet.

One of my friends had this brilliant idea.  Let’s go out, put fire on a rope, swing it around, and take pictures.  Now, it’s not a new idea.  In fact, you can google it and find plenty of images of this type of photography, but it was new to me. 

I met up with four friends and headed out to our first location.  We thought Potters Falls would be a great place to mix our fire experiment with water.  We set up at the lower waterfall and waited for the light to fade.  I spent the time taking pictures of the waterfall until the sky darkened enough to start the show.  One of my friends went up on top of the waterfall and the other friend went low to the side.  They ignited their fireballs and began to spin fire.  I started capturing images, but only got one before the show ended abruptly with the loud sound of a “thunk”.  Seems the friend on top of the waterfall hit himself on the head with the device which sent the flaming ball of fire shooting off into the air as indicated by the bright glowing orange line in the picture.  Thanks Daniel for the great picture, sorry about the mark it left on your forehead.

Lower Potters Falls on Fire

We decided to leave and head towards the abandoned train tunnel in Nemo, our original destination.  We got there and parked on the outside of the half mile long tunnel.  Nemo Tunnel is pretty neat by itself in the daytime but at night it’s quite different.  We set up for yet another go at the fireball experiment, this time inside the tunnel.  After trying glow sticks with disappointing results we broke out the steel wool.  We stuffed steel wool into our homemade devices and got ready for the show to start.  We were in a confined space with walls surrounding us, about to light a fireball, what could go wrong?

Me in Nemo tunnel Me in Nemo Tunnel

The resulting images were made using different techniques.  Overhead, in front, two people, three people, walking around, and just about anything else we could think of at the time.  A few burning embers landed on us but overall I consider this experiment a huge success.  It was well after midnight by the time we used up all 120 pieces of steel wool which ended the show.  Now I know what it feels like to be either an arsonist or pyrotechnic technician.

Big Bear at the circus.



The descriptive stories are as fun as the pictures. Let me know when you put a book together.
Loved all of them
Once again John, great job. Thanks for sharing!
Fantastic shots!
Barry johnson(non-registered)
That made for very neat photos at night you are the man
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