Hot on the heels of our fireworks photography post we are today looking at another Bonfire Night favourite and providing a little how to that all the family can get involved with: How to spell your name in sparklers.

Sparkler photos can be extremely pretty indeed, but one of the best things about them is their accessibility for all. You don’t need an exceptional camera to create them and providing everyone is briefed on the safety rules, even little ones can be part of the action!

What you’ll need:

  • A black night’s sky
  • A set of sparklers and means to light them
  • Gloves for handling the sparklers
  • A tripod (or something else to steady your camera on)

Setting up the camera

For this little trick you’ll need to select high aperture to keep the image in focus, and choose a slow shutter speed and a low ISO too so that you don’t flood your frame with too much light.

What you need to do

You’ll likely need to adjust your settings depending on the length of the name or other word(s) you choose to write. To get this right you may even want to have a few sparkle-free runs, timing roughly how long it takes to write the name in the air. Using joint up cursive text works the best, do it with the arm outstretched and your body directly facing the camera.

The whole process will run a lot more smoothly with a few helpers – you’ll need one person to light the sparkler, one to take the photo and a sparkler artist. Once the sparkler is lit the nominated lighter will need to exit the photo frame quickly, it’s then up to the writer to start their word or name as soon as they hear the camera click. This should be done form left to right because the camera picks up the light trail left to right.

 Ideas to make your sparkler images more interesting

Writing your name is a good introduction to canvas art and gives you the option of creating your own custom canvas to hang on your door but there are lots of other interesting things you can do with sparkler images. Try making shapes such as hearts and stars to transfer to canvas and give as cute gifts or experiment with effects to make the photographs themselves more interesting.

Using a little flash at the end will help you capture the face of your sparkler wielder in shot, or you can move the opposite way and use some of the blackness of the photo in post-shoot editing. Use Photoshop to layer in different backgrounds or you may even want to layer your own fireworks shots and sparkler images to fake your word of choice being written across the night’s sky.

Once you’ve mastered this simple technique you’ll want to use it again and again rather than saving it for once a year. Sparkler photos add an extra dimension to photoshoots of weddings, engagements, special birthdays and graduation parties and by transferring those images to canvas you’ll have some rather unique keepsakes too.

 Sparklers & Fireworks Photography Tips for your images on canvas