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Sparklers are wonderful objects to photograph—they are cheap, easy to find, and extremely beautiful. They convey a sort of magical and festive feeling. It’s like holding a little fireball in your hands… or a tiny tamed comet.

Even shooting sparklers as they are you can get wonderful photos. If you shoot a sparkler at a sufficiently slow shutter speed, you’ll can get beautiful fiery trails that look mesmerizing. But if you go an extra mile and modify it a little, the sparkler can become even more flexible, magical, and easy to work with!

1. Props

To get the sparkler image you will need: sparklers, a pair of tweezers (the longest you can find… I use dental tweezers and highly recommend them), candle and matches, a glass jar, and any other components of the still life you want to create.

Don’t use any glass items you’re afraid to break. Sparklers can get extremely hot and the glass can crack (I lost only one jar of six, but still, it’s good to err on the safe side).

You will also need a source of light (I used a flash light SB-910, set on 1/8 of power), a camera, and a steady tripod.

2. Preparation

We aren’t going to use whole sparklers, just the burning bits of them. So peel off the pieces of combustible mixture from the stem, keeping them relatively big and trying not to turn them into dust.


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