Category Archives: Sparkler Art

SPARKLER ART TIME

So, it’s almost that time again when we start collecting bits of old wood to put together a small bonfire for the fabulous fifth of November, at the bottom of the garden, in the same place we had it last year. The Pie & Peas, Parkin, Jacket Potatoes, Fireworks, and Sparklers collection will ensure a good night will be enjoyed by all.

From the age of five, I would have been passed a sparkler spinning it round like a manic musical conductor, lost in the magic. Now years on, I have grown out of …. no, just a minute, you can’t ‘grow out of’ sparklers, as an adult, you just take them to another level!  Sparkler Art has long been an inexpensive way of producing a unique piece of art and is relatively easy to re-create.

These days everybody has a camera built into their smartphone, but you will need a tripod or some other way to keep the image completely stable to prevent wobble; trust me it is very difficult to hold a camera steady for 30ish seconds!

In the ‘Settings’ menu of the camera/phone, go to the Professional settings (depending which phone you have) and start by setting the F stop rate to F8 and the shot duration to 25-30 seconds as a starting point, setting the flash option to fire after the pre-determined time-lapse to “Fix” the picture otherwise you may find you have a blurry exposure.

Try a few test shots just to see how it goes, adjusting the time up and down accordingly to achieve a clear shot – if it is overbright, try dropping down a few seconds or extending the time if too dark.

Remember the time-lapse is your ‘creation’ or ‘drawing time’ so plan ahead, have a few attempts and above all, don’t be afraid to try a few different distances to get the best possible result.

The more obscure or unique the designs are the better, as they will be remembered.

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SPARKLER ART WITH A DIFFERENCE

Being in the field of pyrotechnics we are always fascinated by additional ways of using pyro in art especially. We have, on several occasions, featured artwork by the supremely talented Cai Guo-Qiang but these are completely different.

Sparkler Art

To achieve the fabulous picture above, you will need:

  • a sheet of light coloured plywood
  • small can of regular white interior paint (plain emulsion will suffice)
  • Sparklers
  • Spray bottle filled with a mixture of the juice of 1 lemon mixed with water (about half pint)
  • an image of two stags which you can trace around and cut out with either a craft knife or scissors (like the one below – most can be downloaded or copied from the internet but check the ownership first.

Next, paint the plywood with the white paint and let it dry thoroughly.

Cut your stag images (or whatever animal you would like to be) and put them onto the dry painted board. Spray the lemon water over the images making sure that the stag or animal picture is damp enough to stick slightly but not so there are water puddles about.

Let the board dry for around 5 minutes.

Light your sparklers and place them where you would like the trunks of the trees to be (this might take a few attempts, so be aware of this and we would recommend that you try first of all on paper.

The branches can be created with straight lemon juice. Great to try and you can incorporate all sorts of animals and pictures which would look great in the sepia colour.

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Sparkler Art Photography

You Will Need
SPARKLERS (GOOD ONES!)
CAMERA
TRIPOD
BUCKET OF WATER

We all treat sparklers with a certain amount of disdain, as they are considered to be the ‘least pyro-esque’ item in most firework shop ranges. Indeed, they are frequently given free or form part of the ‘afterthought’ process … you know the one, the order arrives on the trolley and the customer will then check out the purchases on the pile before the inevitable ‘Do you do sparklers?’ comes. But in reality, they are a beautiful addition to any occasion whether fireworks are there or not.

Over the last couple of years, Sparklers have been introduced into Wedding celebrations but one of our favorite uses is for ‘Sparkler Art’.

Pop the camera on the tripod and pick your spot in front of the camera (it helps to establish your position whilst there is enough daylight.

Set the camera up: set the aperture to F8 and the exposure time to 25-30 seconds for best results

Dumbing down, especially for techo-phobes like ‘moi’, the exposure is set to 25-30 seconds and this is your ‘drawing time’ where everything done in front of the camera will form the final image. You can avoid a ‘tail’ or ‘trail’ on your image if you just continue to overdraw until the click if the shutter. One other tip, if you are writing your name, you need to do this backwards.

Sparkler art is only really limited by your imagination – check some out from the internet:

sparklers

We absolutely love sparkler art and have tried a couple of times with our point and shoot camera’s without much success, but having bought my hubby a Fuji Finepix S9500 for Christmas, we are only a few steps away from capturing some brilliant shots so we will keep you updated as this might be a project for the weekend.

Give it a try and we will feature the images on our website/FB page.

Happy shooting xx

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