Museums at Night: Firebreathers

by Beauchamp Art

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Museums at Night: Firebreathers

Documentation of the performance of the Firebreathers Museums At Night outside of The Norwich Castle.

These images were taken as part of the closing event for the Museums at Night the castle, and featured two performers (who had been walking on stilts earlier on, the Thundermental Entertainers) demonstrating fire-breathing, flame juggling, and other pyromanic activities and generally playing with paraffin. Despite the hyperbolic performance, the crowd response was fairly spartan, except on those occasions when some of the fluid went up the performer’s nose, though there was still a sense of awe (irregardless of the quite Norwich sensibilities).

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Photographing the fire-breathers made for quite an intestine challenge, as the pictures had to be taken rapidly in response to the erupting balls of flame, capturing the fire at its peak and the surrounding scene in full, without rendering the crowd in complete darkness. I also found that alluding the the lingering light of a blue dusk sky made for an effective colour contrast to the orange flames (which were slightly enhanced, as most of the brighter pictures came out looking pink). I did experiment with using a longer  exposure, but tho lost the details in the flames, and tended to blur the rest of the picture, but I believe I still managed to capture the event fairly effectively, though I did not capture one of the tricks involving mixing the paraffin with detergent to make bubbles, which were then ignited whilst on one performer’s hand.

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