Some friends and I went camping at Lake Cachuma in Santa Barbara County and we found some extra wood laying around so we decided to make a big bonfire as we were leaving.
Shot with my HP R707
Exposure 1/336 sec

-Brad Smalarz

I was grilling with some friends and put a few too many coals on the bbq. Well, I happened to get an HTC thunderbolt recently and love the camera. So I decided to play with it and take some shots of the flames pouring out of the grill. I think it's pretty damn impressive for a cellphone camera. Only lost a few arm hairs in the making of this shot!
camera - HTC thunderbolt
focal length - 4.6 mm
ISO - 200

-Russ Apotheker

I took this photo at my apartment complex. there was a huge fire that took out 8 apartments. Don't worry, my apartment did not catch on fire. I saw the flames and someone was already calling 911 so me and one other guy started banging on the doors of the apartments on fire and near the fire to get people out before the fire department showed up. Then I ran back to my apartment, grabbed my camera and started shooting some photos. by the way, this is the third fire at my apartment complex in the last year, all human error.
Pentax K-7, f/4, ISO 100, 1/400 sec., Pentax 55-300 1:4-5.8 @55mm

-Cole Ewert

My friend brought over some hairspray for the new potato cannon we had made. Around 10, so we wouldn't wake the neighbors, we quit shooting. My friend had the idea to light some of the hairspray in the sink. Of course we did, and this is what I took. Later that night we set off a smoke alarm. Let's just say the fire department wasn't happy when they got to my house.
Camera - Nikon D31000
Lens - AF-S Nikkor 18-55 mm with VR
F-Stop - f/10
Exposure Time - 1 Second
ISO - 200
Focal Length - 18mm
Max Aperture - 3.6

-Kellen Hazelip

Im shooting with a canon kiss x4 (550d), with a mk2 50mm f1.8 prime lens, iso is at 3200, exposure is at 1/30secs and aperature at f1.8.
i saw this challenge and was wondering what i could do?, i looked around me and thought what i could burn?, on my desk i found alcohol hand sanitizer gel, i knew this would burn. i then went down to my garage and got 2 metal plates which i had dotted with the gel. lights were off and i lit the gel, i switched on the camera and started snapping. i took me a few attempts as the time of the burn was quite short.

-Michael Yau

I've had many good times with friends and family sitting around our fire pit, but I had never thought about spending some time trying to capture it in a photo. It took a bit of time and expert fire poking to get the right distribution of embers in the air, but I finally got the shot I wanted and it ended up looking like a volcano had exploded in my back yard. Excellent.
Shot with a Nikon D50 w/ kit 18-55mm lens, ISO400, 5sec exposure.

-Michael Hale

I was going to shoot this anyway, and then when I saw the fire challenge I thought it would be the perfect idea. I took over 200 pictures of the lighter, some without fire, some with a streak of flame, and some with the full flame. Shooting a composite also allowed me to have multiple lighting points with just one flash; lighting from the side allowed me to catch some of the detail in the wind guard, which would contrast with the smooth lighter body. I then stacked the pictures in photoshop, to create the composite and added a median filter to give it a 'too perfect' look.
Shot with Canon 7D, ISO640, 60mm macro, f/6.3, Manual Focus, 1/80 for streaks, 1/20 for flame.

-Matthew Taylor

I had wanted to enter one of Gizmodo's shooting challenges for a longtime but always forgot to submit anything over the weekend. This time I decided to finally participate. Besides, I think fire is really awesome to observe so there was no way I'd miss shooting it. After looking for stuff to set on fire and almost burning my entire apartment, I finally went for the poker theme. I love poker and 7-8 suited is always a hand I don't know what to do with. This time I decided to fold it, pour rum over it, light a match and burn it.
Canon Rebel T1i, Canon 50mm f/1.8. 0.3s - at f/4.5 - ISO 100

-Ben Lanon

I decided to go as small as I possibly go with this project. Rather than do something "easy" like a bonfire, I chose to capture the violent moment of a match being ignited. My original plan was to use a 9-Volt battery to ignite the match, which I had secured with a clamp. After discovering that the spark was *much* too small, I tried lighting a candle under my match-rig. This sadly also resulted in a failure, as a slight breeze kept putting out the flame before igniting the match head. Finally in an act of desperation, I lit one match with another. In my other hand I had my camera's remote . . . and I managed to get this image almost exactly 50% through the ignition of the match-head. When I viewed the image later, I was astonished to see the beauty of the flame, with half of the match-head not yet lit.
Camera: Nikon D40
Shutter Speed: 1/1600 sec
Aperture: f/5.6
Light: Natural sunlight
Date taken: 8-4-11

-Sean Evans

I actually just took this picture at a bonfire I had with a few friends. I just brought out my camera to play with a bit and got some nice shots of the fire and the stars!
For this photo, I used a Canon Rebel XSI with a 18-55mm lens. I used an ISO of 100 and about a 2 second exposure.

-Sarah McGuan

So i decided to literally play with fire. Had my girlfriend help me, Sony A230, 55mm lense, f/4.5, 1/40s, ISO400. I used my black under Armour shirt to blend with the black room. Held a fireball on my hand and gave it a few tries. Here it is. Just brought the fire color just a bit with Photoshop and that's it. Hope you like.

-Felix Garcia

Sitting in the closet, naked, (it's so freaking hot here) I used my cheap, broken, not smart phone & took this shot. I needed to cover my areas so I aimed directly into the candle's flame on the pic right. I cropped it a bit & that's all she wrote. The camera is a Samsung SGH-A737. A crappy one at that!

-Marnie Barrett

Don't we all love setting fire to a box of matches? This is the artist David Mach setting fire to his sculpture of the Devil's head which was made from thousands of match heads for his current exhibition "Precious Light". The burning took place at the Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh, Scotland on Fri 5 August 2011.
Shot on a Nikon D3000 with 35mm f/1.8 lens at ISO 400, 1/40 sec and then tweaked a little in Lightroom.

-Andy Catlin

Shot with a Canon 40d, kit 18-55 mm, aperture 3.5, ISO 125, 30 second exposure.


I knew exactly where to photograph fire AND get a great meal at the same time - a hibachi grill (hey, it's a good excuse, right?). I've taken a few photos there before and knew that I could get a pretty decent picture. Only problem was, we sat at a table with a couple who had a tiny baby with them. So, the chef didn't do as much fancy fire work they normally do. So, I had to snap the camera during the few seconds it was up. I had a few decent shots, but this was the most dramatic one!
Camera: Canon Rebel XS
Lens: 0.25m/0.8ft
F-stop: f/22
Exposure time: 1/13 sec
ISO: 100
Focal length: 27mm

-Amanda Jaeger

I was using a canon EOS Xsi with the stock 18-55mm lens mounted backwards with a reversing ring. the Iso was 400 with a 1/100 shutter speed and a 5.6 aperture. I used a soldering iron to heat up the match hot enough to to light and a remote trigger to take the picture without shaking the camera. I went through about 15 matches before I got a shot I really liked, and by the time I was done some of my neighbors were not too happy about the burning smell coming from my room.

-Daniel John

I've always been interested in the photo challenges but never actually submitted anything. I decided that I needed to submit something after seeing this latest challenge so I gathered a few friends and came up with an idea. We decided that we wanted to capture some colorful flames so we gathered some colored tiki torch fluid and poured some onto a fire pit and took some quick shots. For my submission we put some fluid inside of a bottle cap with some potassium chloride table salt, lit it, and poured some blue and green fluid onto the flame. The fluid ignited and the salt burst and crackled inside the fire. My gear for this shot was a Canon T1i, 50mm f1.8, and a tripod to keep it stable. I had the ISO on 800 and a shutter speed of 1/60th with the aperture wide open. I had the camera in burst mode so my brother dropped the fluid and I just held the button! Thanks!

-Jon Dallmeyer

Sometimes, a little fire is all you need.
Canon Rebel T1i, EF 24mm, f2.8, ISO 6400, 1/3200.

-Tina L. Pierce

My name is Brian Biller and I am Active Duty Navy currently stationed in the Kingdom of Bahrain. I was out riding early Friday morning, looking for the "Tree of Life" - it's a huge mesquite tree growing in the middle of the desert and it's been there almost 500 years. Any-hoo, while in the process of searching I got terribly lost. You'd think there'd be a sign or something. While trying to get my bearings, I did stumble upon some oil wells and the glow of more than a few refineries. It's then that I remembered reading about your contest.
Images shot on my fairly new Fuji x100 using the Velvia film simulation setting. Left on Auto settings the display reflects ISO 200, aperture f7.1, shutter speed 1/480. I took a few. Some on Provia, some B & W and even Sepia and played with the aperture here and there. This one I like the best because of the color, that and some of the others looked a little vignetted until I decided to take off my motorcycle helmet (d'oh). You just don't expect to have those kind of contrasts in the desert, between the color of the ground, and the blue tinge to the sky, with that refinery fireball in between, I think it turned out nice.
I eventually found the tree you'll be happy to know. Hope you like. I love my x100 by the way.

-Brian Biller

The photo was taken at a birthday party at 3 am. My friend had a fabulous idea to spitfire with the campfire. This photo was the best out of the burst series. Nobody got any burns only my camera smells like barbecue now.
Canon EOS 550D
1/4000 sec.
Samyang: 8mm Fisheye

-Simon Lefevre

This is the flame from a torch on our deck... When the breeze catches the flame the right way, you can get some really interesting abstract images. It was hard to narrow down the choice to just one, but this one has such a calm elegance, you almost don't even know what it is at first sight...
ISO 400, f/6.3, 1/1600, 270 mm

-Cheryl MacLean

I didn't know where I was going to find a fire so I had to start my own. We have two of these trucks and no kids to play with them so I thought.. let's torch it up. Got some cool long and short exposure pics but this one seemed to stand out. Shot it on my Canon T1i 135mm lens, F2.0, ISO 800, 1/60.

-Robin Coats

Went out with a friend with the sole intention of walking away with something worth submitting to the contest. We went to an abandoned part of a freeway and shot around the underpass for a few hours. Steel wool put into a whisk and attached to a chain spun for 16 seconds.
Shot on a Nikon D60 using a 50mm lens. 16.5 sec exposure, F16 ISO 400.

-David Hornor

I have always thought there is something very still and reflective about a single tamed flame and this challenge gave me the opportunity to try a shot I had wanted to do for a little while. To get the dark background I captured the image in a room just lit by the candle changing the settings so just the right amount of candle is shown. Finally the image was then cropped in Photoshop to get closer into the candle as it initially looked a bit lost.
Taken with a Nikon D5000 f/5.6 1/45s ISO 200 using the kit lens and manual focus.

-John Kilmister

I shot this picture in our carriage house where we have a large indoor fireplace. It took a little change up of the type of wood to get the fire really dancing like this. I played around with longer exposure times but much prefer the amazing amount of detail captured with this photo at 1/400.
Nikon D5100 AF-S 18-55mm, F/8.0, ISO 500

-Geoff Clark

The planning for this shot was a little difficult. I had a hard time finding a place where I could fire a weapon at night because no range that I found in the DC area allowed me to do so in the dark. I finally found a friend who lives in the middle of nowhere, and so this "shoot" took place in his backyard. I am not too familiar with the settings on my camera, but I am learning, so it ended up taking quite a bit of time to get the right settings and good shot. Thank you to my friend who let us use his backyard and thank you to the friend who fired the weapon. Without both of you, none of this would have been possible.
Sony Nex-3, F 4.5 Shutter Speed 1/25 ISO 800

-Jaclyn Breit

On the way to a picnic I realized I forgot my DSLR, so I had to use my HTC Thunderbolt to catch the action. I love the clean flames that charcoal initially puts off, and my phone captured them pretty well!

-Kris Balow

I knew I wanted to use lighters for this contest because of their safety and size. After drawing out a few ideas, I wanted to have my friend Jesse stand as the fire-wielder. I had him stand holding one lighter still, while I took two other lighters and swirled the flames like they were erupting from his hands. You can see my impression in the bottom right. Without a third person to hold down the Bulb setting, we had to work quickly in manual for 30 seconds. Dozens of lighter strikes later...
I shot this image with my 5D Mark 2 with the L series 24-70 set at 40mm. Using RAW, 30 second exposure at f4, ISO 100.

-Jonathan Mathias

While at a family BBQ I remembered about the shooting challenge and decided to take a few shots this was my favorite. To capture this photo I used the Toy Camera setting on the Sony Nex-3 it worked great for emphasizing the strong colors of the flame and darkened the edges of the image which I think creates a nice contrast.
Sony Nex -3
F-stop f/4.5
Exposure Time 1/60 sec.
ISO speed ISO-250
Exposure bias +0.3 step
Focal Length 38 mm
Max aperture 4.34

-Juan Gil

Title: Vrinda's First Birthday
Usually when you think of birthday candles, you think about the ones on the cake. My wife and I attended the first birthday of my friend and co-worker's daughter. They happen to be Indian, and there, it is the custom to give presents to the guests. Our present was set of decorative etched glass candles. The perfect subject for the current Gizmodo challenge. I lined them up so they overlapped and allowed the flames to appear in the clear portion of the etched design. The three candles and flames provided an exotic overlapping pattern to interact with and showcase the flame.
Sony A-100
ISO-1600 (Max for for A-100 to get an overall grainy texture for the etched glass)
18-130 mm zoom at 130
f 5.6 for shallow DOF
1/80 so flame is confined to an area, but not sharp-edged
cropped by 1/3 to further increase the grain effect.
center flame positioned at closest point that would be in focus.

-Dennis Foster

A few guys and myself were hanging out at the lake one night and decided to build a campfire. I took my camera out and shot a few pictures to experiment with the low light conditions and the light that was emitted from the fire. I was pretty surprised/happy how some of them came out after tinkering with shutter speed and exposure.
Canon Rebel T2i, EF-S18-55mm, IOS 160, f/5, 1/2 (shutter speed).

-John Showalter

Yesterday I went to the circus with my family. I haven't been to the circus since I was a child so I was curious as to what it was still like. It is so very similar to what I remember yet so different... Anyways, to the challenge. I figured that fire would be involved in some of the acts so I knew I wanted to get my shot here. I ended up taking a shot with the jugglers juggling fire. I like how the entire circus is dark and is lit only my the torches. I left my shutter open a little long to catch the flame trails as they are tossed back and forth. I think they look like letters in some unknown language.
F-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens
ISO 100
0 EV

-Matthew Johnson

Some friends and I were having a campfire cookout, I got pretty far away and a friend threw a rock at the heart of the flame. We're both good shots.
f 3.5, 1/30, iso 400

-Chris Thomas

I wanted to capture a match being lit, I thought it would be the photo I wanted. However after loading to photos onto my PC I saw something
far better, the fire being "killed." So here is my entry, "kiss of death." It was taken with a Canon 60D f/5.6 at 1/160 sec and a zoom 105mm

-TJ Rohwer

Shot it indoors with some not-so-great lighting. Had the camera rest on a table and auto focused, zoomed in as much as possible, and set up a timer + continuous shooting (camera offered a max of 10 continuous shots...either that or continuous shots for 10 seconds..ill need to look into that). Then flicked on the lighter as often as possible; 4/10 were pics of an unlit lighter, 6/10 were the lighter fully lit, 1/10 captured that moment where flint meets steel and butane.
Canon Rebel T2i - EFS 18-55mm Lens, ISO:3200, f/5.6, shutter speed 1/30s.

-Aaron Kapelus

I spent Friday evening at a friends place for dinner. He wanted to do a simple BBQ and I thought it would be the best opportunity to get some fire shots. The down side is that no one thought to bring any lighter fluid! After many tries to get the pit started with paper towels and newspaper, I finally relented and went to the local store to get some starter fluid. When I got back I created a massive ball of flame out of the pit (there were a few lines of "Am I missing an eyebrow?). Unfortunately none of those picture came out very well. I did like how simple this one ended up. Just a lone flame off to the side of the pit. Thank god for my zoom lens, that fire was HOT!
Nikon D5100
Tamron 18-270mm Lens
1/80 sec.

-Steve Petrucelli

The equipment used for this shot was with a Canon Rebel XTi using a 24-70mm f/2.8L lens. My setting followed relatively close to the the suggestions by Digital Photography School. Because the fire shot was done at night, I had to use a tripod with a remote trigger to remove as much vibration as possible. I followed the suggested aperture (f/8) to get as much depth a possible for the picture and adjusted my shutter speed according to the intensity of the flame. The end setting that found most suitable was ISO-100, shot at 1/6 of a second at f/8 with a focal length of 70mm.
My original intention for this contest was to light a candle and pepper the candle with powdered creamer to enhance the flame at which the shot would be taken when the powder makes contact with the fire. But that failed spectacularly as my flame source was too small and not very intensive as a heat source. As a result, I wound up with burned powder on top of the candle. One hour later, I came up with another idea when I remembered you can light alcohol on fire provided that the proof is high enough. I also remembered that certain household products can change the appearance of the flame. A quick search on google told me that Epson salt and regular salt would change the behavior of fire. Epson salt would stabilize the flame whereas regular salt would make the flame more golden. The end result was a candle holder filled with a mixture of rubbing alcohol, Epson salt and regular salt. I wasn't expecting much after the the candle trial but the lit alcohol worked wonders. Not only was the flame rather large, I was able to somewhat manipulate it by blowing on it or swashing it with a stick.
The picture submitted is taken when I stuck a stuck in the flame and flicked upward. This created a divot in the flame and luck was with me when the flame connected at the top. From an abstract point of view, the flame looks like fingers rubbing together as a sign of payment or greed.

-Albert Lien

My son and I were trying to come up with ideas for this week's challenge and our original plan was to soak a miniature car in gas and light it on fire while having a fan blow on it to appear like the car is moving on fire. Well, after trying for several hours to get that shot, we just abandoned that idea and grabbed the brake cleaner. We used an old mirror as the for the reflective surface with great results.

-Chris McCready

I was at a backyard BBQ last night, after a while we got a fire going and there was some kind of metal netting over the fire. I noticed that something interesting was happening to the flames as they came through it; I couldn't see what that thing actually was until I froze it in place with this photo.
Nikon D2X
24mm f/2 on non-full frame camera body = 36mm f/2 (actual)
ISO 400

-Will Christiansen

My Dad and I set up a toy car on a mirror and sprayed brake cleaner over it to get this effect. I was using my Nikon Cool Pix point and shoot camera. After some experimenting, we were able to get a pretty decent picture of the fire.

-Zack Hewlett

The shooting challenge this week was a good opportunity to use my new 105mm VRII Macro, what a lens! I was experimenting with taking pictures of flames, but eventually moved onto a sparkler I had bought recently.
Nikon D90, 1/400 sec, f11, 105mm.

-Nils Rohwer

Close up of a candle with four flames on my window sill...
While bright bursting flames are fun I wanted more to capture a more clear look of a flame so I experiment with fast shutter speeds and a fairly closed aperture. I choose this photo because I think while it has nice clear flames it still shows the energy such small candle flames can have.
Sony Alpha 350 with a Tamrom 28-300mm lens.
Shutterspeed 1/640s, Aperture f 5.6 and Iso 400.

-Marwin Schmitt

I had been playing with smoke photography with a skull bottle for a few weeks and when this weeks challenge came along i hoped it would play out well. I used a little bit of rubbing alcohol in a controlled environment with a fire extinguisher near by just in case. I took about 60 or so shots trying to get the lighting and the drama just right. Canon 7d, f/18, with a .8 sec exp time and an ISO of 800 shot at 70mm.

-Bonnie McDonough

For the last four years my friends and I have been going to the annual Lobster Festival in Rockland, Maine. We stay at Mic Mac Family Campground in Union, Maine, about 20 minutes outside of Rockland every year. We look forward to this trip every year, not just for the lobster, but for the camping, and our friends at the campground ( it's usually the same crowd every year at our neighboring sites). This year our fire was so big our Boston neighbors came over to admire it, twice!
This shot was taken Canon Rebel xsi, Canon EFS 18-55mm lens, ISO 800.

-Megan Zeigler