Mar 18

Behind the Shot: “Fire Fire”

I saw a lot of comments on Tumblr in response to this photo, either awe over the lighting and steam effects, wondering what I did to make it look like fire, or wondering if there was actually real fire on the stage. As you can see in the photo below, it looked like realistic fire on its own, just from the light on the steam. This first photo is unedited, straight from the camera. BETH2247 This is the photo after I cropped it. I went in close to emphasise the “fire.” I also straightened it. I swear most of my photos are not that crooked.
BETH2247uneditedBelow is the final edit. I won’t go into too much detail because it’s just the usual: slide the bars around in Photoshop Camera Raw until it looks good. What I did do differently was to give it more contrast than usual and play with the red, orange, and yellow hues to make the “fire” stand out a little more and look a bit more realistic.

Then I opened the photo in regular Photoshop and did a few final edits. If you’re paying close attention you might have noticed that there’s some fire on the left shoulder in the final image that isn’t there in the earlier versions. I had around 6 photos of this same moment to choose from where the fire drifted from a small amount on the left to a big blaze on the right. I really liked the first photo I had, where it looked like his right shoulder had just caught fire. I thought it looked realistic and added a lot to the effect, so I copied that part of the first photo to my main photo, where the blaze looked the best.
BETH2247aThat’s it! I hope you enjoyed this peek into my editing process.