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…
And next the OM-4ti with 85mm/f2 and Agfa CT Precisa 100
Many thanks to the Vale Council and Walk the Plank for staging the event.