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London's Burning: Shade Flamewater & Mini Azur

About 18 months ago, I was fortunate to meet Australian, fire-breather extraordinaire, Shade Flamewater (I actually posted a short video blog about him here). We got on brilliantly and I was delighted when he got in touch a few weeks ago, saying that he'll be in London for his world tour and that he wanted to book me for a photo shoot. He was joined by his equally adept, Canadian co-performer, Mini Azur. They needed some shots for promotional material that showed off the intricacies of their elaborate and dexterous technique - not just huge fireballs. This also helped us to remain a bit more incognito around the streets of London!

It was a pretty misty night in the capital and visibility was poor. With some thoughtful camera angles, we were still able to capture the essence of the city with several monuments making cameo appearances. It's a shame the Houses of a Parliament are having renovations done - we even went to the front door to ask if they could temporarily remove the scaffolding... but I think the bell was broken!

I've blogged about fire photography before as it's a subject matter that I find fascinating and a discipline that challenges my abilities. It involves great knowledge of your photographic weapon of choice (my trusty Sony A7Rii now feels just like an extension of me when I'm out on a shoot). More than ever, nailing the exposure is crucial to getting that breath-taking shot. I always shoot in RAW as it allows me to pull out the hidden details in both the intense highlights and the murky shadows. A fast shutter speed, although unusual at nighttime, will ensure that the dancing flame is crisp.

The image on the back of the camera will give an insight into the final image but you won't see the full beauty (or failure) of the photo until some post-production magic has been applied (my software of choice is Adobe Lightroom). If you're interested in learning more about photographing fire, please don't hesitate to send me a message (email/facebook/instagram). It will undoubtedly involve some trial and error but, with a few pointers, the results will be magnificent.

Click on image to enlarge

I hope this blog has brought some warmth into your day! As always, the places to find more frequent updates are Facebook and Instagram. If you'd like to book me for a shoot, please email me at

Until next time,


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