Isle of Fire, Barry 22-23 August

Barry Island was once again host to the ‘Isle of Fire’ with fire displays, fire jugglers and giant illuminated lobsters. A night-time event like this isn’t the easiest to shoot on film, but it is certainly possible. I used two cameras, an OM4 loaded with Kodak Portra 800 for the ‘ambient’ scenes, and an OM-4ti loaded with Agfa CT Precisa 100 transparency film.

It might seem crazy to use ISO transparency film for night shooting, but flames actually give out quite a lot of light and it’s no problem to get high enough shutters speeds to shoot hand-held. The spot metering of the Olympus really comes into its own in situations like this, being able to take a meter reading off the flames so the highlights are not blown out.

Away from the bright flames things get a bit more difficult. I used Portra 800 for the first time on this kind of shoot and I wasn’t entirely happy with it. I always find Portra tricky to scan and I think I’d prefer the film I normally use, Fuji Superia 800 or 1600.

Lens wise I used a 40mm/f2 and 85mm/f2 on the two OM bodies. The 85mm in particular was good for close up shots of the flames.

Anyway, on to the photos – First the OM4 with 40mm/f2 and Portra 400…


Fire displays with the ‘Barry Eye’ in the background (Olympus OM4, Portra 400)



Giant ‘lobster’ (Olympus OM4, Portra 400)


Giant ‘lobster’ (Olympus OM4, Portra 400)


And next the OM-4ti with 85mm/f2 and Agfa CT Precisa 100


Fire display (Olympus OM-4ti, Precisa)


With the ‘Barry Eye’ in the background (Olympus OM-4ti, Precisa)


The ‘Barry Eye’ at sunset (Olympus OM-4ti, Precisa)


Fire display (Olympus OM-4ti, Precisa)


(Olympus OM-4ti, Precisa)


Fire torches (Olympus OM-4ti, Precisa)


Many thanks to the Vale Council and Walk the Plank for staging the event.


About cariadus

Photography addict. Film shooter.

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