08.01.12, Week 21: Ashes

by pbnb

If you follow my blog, you’ll know that this post is a bit late. I went up to Manchester on Sunday morning to have a consultation with a surgeon about my knee injury on the Monday. I intended to upload the picture above and do the post in Manchester, but forgot all about it. We got stuck on the motorway on the way home on Monday afternoon due to an accident and spent from 17:40 until about 00:00 sat still no more than half an hour south of Manchester. The three hours of travel that remained once we got moving again didn’t seem so attractive at a few minutes after midnight, so we headed back to Manchester for the night. My week since then has consisted of revision for my upcoming exams and I haven’t made time to do this post. My apologies for it being so late.

The picture above was taken at my girlfriend’s house. We had shredded a collection of letters which contained sensitive information and thought the shreds might make good tinder for lighting the fire. Ever since I’ve been a child, fire has fascinated me and I have always enjoyed lighting the fires that keep us warm in the winter. When I lit this fire, I noticed the way the thin shreds of paper started to curl and smoulder as they were lit. I thought they would make a good subject so started to take shots of them.

To begin with there was not enough ambient light to take the shots without a tripod, so I stoked the fire and got a few logs burning to produce flames large enough to alleviate the problem. Leaning the logs against one another in a triangle allows the air to circulate and feed the flames between them, making them burn faster and brighter. It also provided a good spot for me to place the shreds in order to take a picture.

The image itself came out pretty well, but I am aggravated by the lick of flame on the right hand side, I feel it really distracts the viewer. The black line across the bottom right is also frustrating, but it was the top of the grate and I couldn’t get the shot without it being in frame. I do like the way the embers from the log behind provide a nice glow to the background of the picture, I feel it nicely highlights the smouldering shreds. I also like the way that words can still be made out on the bits that are starting to burn. I think I’ll have another go at it next time we have a fire and try to do it on top of a log so that the grate isn’t in the way.


The music that has been accompanying my photography this week has been 65daysofstatic’s Silent Running, a re-score of Douglas Trumbull’s 1972 film. The band have been told they should venture into film scores since their debut album in 2004; probably because most music journalists seem to see no difference between instrumental music and film scores. Being the band that they are, this is 65’s first attempt at a film score and I feel they have successfully captured the nature of the film, evinced by the space influenced sounds. It’s enough like their other music to be enjoyed for the same reasons, whilst also providing something else a bit different.


      • Date taken: 05.01.12
      • Aperture: f/1.8
      • Speed: 1/40 sec
      • ISO: 640
      • Focal length: 55mm