UMBC's Homecoming Bonfire

I'm not really sure why, but this bonfire the school lights every year is one of the most popular events on campus. We're all actually cavemen on the inside, I guess.

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I brought the OM-D out for this event with the 25mm f/1.8.  Initially I was going to shoot in full manual and snag silhouettes.  I ended up with more blown out fires than beautiful shadows.  I kind of cheated and shot in program mode -- I usually rock aperture-priority -- and winded the exposure comp dial up or down depending on the scene.  The WYSIWYG electronic-view finder was very helpful with controlling highlights and shadows while taking photographs of the bonfire.

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I noticed that the Olympus 25mm has massive purple flares when shooting straight into the bonfire... Which, really, was expected because it's honestly the same as pointing directly at the sun, given the evening lighting conditions.  The flares can be kind of nice, though.  They break up the pitch-black darkness of the shadows that I intended.

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I really exaggerated the flares in this one.  I love how they highlight each figure.  What's neat too is that a small amount of light from the flare leaks on to the silhouettes providing a small snippet of detail in the shadows.

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I couldn't decide between deep, dark blacks or the raised-black look.  I tried the latter for this frame.

Autofocusing with the OM-D was a pain during the bonfire.  The camera would indeed achieve focus, though it would sometimes require multiple tries.  I didn't want to interrupt any of the fire-gazing, so I had the focus-assist light off and the confirmation beep muted.  The light may have helped focusing tremendously, but probably would have distracted surrounding students.  In retrospect, I don't think the actual subjects would have noticed the light because I was usually shooting behind them.