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Clearwater Beach Fire Spinning

Clearwater Beach is a haven for the adventurous, the artistic, and the free spirit.  The drum circle there attracts performance artists of all types; most notably, those dancing with poi and fire.  Poi are orbs attached to a rope or chain that is spun around to create beautiful, momentary kaleidoscopes of flame and color, ephemeral and temporary works of art.  some are composed of blinking lights and plastic, while traditional poi is a wick material that is lit aflame.  I’ve been practicing trying to capture images of the dancers with various methods.  My favorite way to photograph the event is to use a remote flash or two on a tripod to capture the image of the dancer, and then the slow shutter speed will create the trails.  The challenge, for me, is to capture the face and figure of the subject spinning the flame with as little blur as possible but still letting the light trails get some length.

The event is every Saturday evening at 9pm, but usually doesn’t get going until a little later.  As the night goes on, the performances become more and more elaborate and spectacular.  There are nearby conveniences, too, which makes this location perfect.  Right on the beach, there is a shop that sells food and drink and even beach supplies.  Locally, one can leave the beach after a great night watching the fire spinning and find excellent eateries of all price ranges within a couple miles.

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