Thursday, May 8, 2014

'Halo of Fire' by Marshall Humble

"Halo of Fire" ~ © Marshall Humble
Nikon D4 • Nikkor 14-24 AFS f/2.8 @ 14mm • 30 sec • f/8 • ISO 100
More than just burning steel wool: Some have seen so many burning steel wool images that this style of night photography has become somewhat passé for us, myself included. Marshall Humble's "Halo of Fire" caught my attention because the burning wool was just one portion of a great composition.

Marshall and his buddy, Chris Flores, had driven to an old church and a commercial ghost town with the intent to do some steel wool photos. They found this cement factory along the way. "We had both seen enough steel wool shots to become tired of a lot of the same old stuff. We wanted the steel wool to be an element, not the only thing in the photo," says Marshall.

"There are several flood lights around the facility with mixed color temp. I set for daylight white balance. The steel wool is 00 gauge and is being spun over the head in a lasso type fashion. The flood light pointing at the camera has rays because of the smaller aperture."

Challenges: Marshall and Chris had to climb on top of a large pile of rocks, after trudging through lots of mud. Their work paid off for this shot.  "I only wish I had panned slightly more right prior to the shot.  I had a nagging voice inside my head to readjust, but I was worried about taking to long, and not being ready since I was triggering both my buddy and my own cameras," says Marshall.

Post Production: Marshall used basic adjustments in Lightroom, then went into Photoshop's CS6 and used the Color Efex Pro plugin (part of the Google Nik Collection).  "My favorite filters are Pro Contrast and Detail Extractor. It really brings out the individual spark trails," reports Marshall.

Marshall Humble is an Austin, TX native, a Navy veteran, a tech worker and and a photo enthusiast. More of his photography can be seen on his 500px page.

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