Photos Taken By A Single Candle

For this week's Shooting Challenge, I asked you to capture a photography by the light of just one candle. Your response, as always, was remarkable.

Most Meme

"Taken with a tripod mounted Canon XSi with a Canon 50mm f1.8 and an extension tube. Exposure was f/2 @ 1/50s, ISO 320."

[Ed note: Close call, given the Portal shot in the galleries.]

-Adam Carlson

Most Clever

"This was "shot" using my Canon 7D with the 50mm f1.8 prime. Tripod, ISO 800, 1/6 shutter, f2.8. The only light in the image is from a taper candle inserted into a disassembled MAG-Lite. To keep the flame from melting the reflective lens of the flashlight, the setup was aimed up and the final image rotated."

-Christian Shaffer

Most Fiery

"The shot was taken with my Canon S90 @ F8, ISO 400 and with a 15sec exposure on a tripod. To achieve the blur, I adjusted the head of the tripod downward and back to it's starting position quickly at the start of the exposure."

-Jesse Oliveri

Favourite on Film

Camera: Mamiya RZ67

Lens: Mamiya-Sekor 110mm

Film: Kodak 160VC

Shot at: f2.8 at 1 sec

Reflective metered with a Sekonik L-508

Scanned at a low resolution

-Gabriel Padilla


Canon 5dMark II

Sigma 70-200mm EX

ISO 100

F 2.8

Shutter speed 2.5

"I hung the statue upside down to make it appear that the light was coming from up above. Using long term exposure I quickly moved the candle to light the side of his face."

[Ed note: This image subverted my expectations completely, re-imagining soft candle light as a crisp backlight. Also, I have a soft spot for The Incredibles, silhouettes and the colour red.]

-Felix Mendoza

I thought a mix of tech and candlelight would make an interesting contrast, something old fashioned and something futuristic. Camera: Canon EOS 450D Lens: Tamron Di 70-300mm 1:4-5.6 Tele-Macro ISO: 200 Aperture: f/5.6 Exp. Time: 1/2 Sec The camera was on a tripod and I used the infrared remote for Canon cameras to take the photo as to reduce vibrations as much as possible, the camera was set to manual focus to avoid changing the focus. I wanted the candle in the shot but not as the main focus, so I used a shallow depth of field. - Oliver Clark

Used a Canon SD1100 point and shoot with 1/8th shutter and ISO 200. I set the camera on the coffee table to prevent getting a blurry photo. - Craig Lloyd

Camera was a D5000 w/ 18-55mm lens on Manual Mode, resting on the counter propped up with the lens cap. ISO 800, 1" shutter, f3.5. Wedding photo and granite counter reflect the candle quite nicely. - Chris Ness

Camera: Canon Rebel XSi Lens: 18-55 Stock Lens ISO: 400 Exposure: 1/60 Technique: I used a Christmas ornament, a little stain-glass angel, with a 1/60th exposure time. It took a few tries to get the lighting just right so that the figure could be the right color and not washed out. -Tyler Sebastian

Sony Alpha 200 Minolta 50mm f1.7 Aperture 1.7 ISO 100 Light source: Sandalwood Votive Candle -Brad McElroy

Panasonic GF1 Konica Hexanon 57mm f/1.2 lens at f/1.2, manual focus 1/30 second ISO 200 Candle flame glare on the Chile earthquake epicenter on a globe. - David Lee

I shot this with my Canon 7D with Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 @ ISO 800 0.8s Shot in my apartment with one candle. Had to use thick audio cables wrapped around my ears. The iPod headphone cables were not pronounced enough. - Beau Blochlinger

I used a Nikon D300s on a tripod, my lens is a 50mm. Shutter speed was 100/10sec. aperture f/22, with a ISO of 200. -Richard DiBuo

I used a Canon 500D with an old M42 Mount Carl Zeiss Flektogon 2.4/35 prime @ f22 1 second exposure. I used a Manfrotto CF tripod along with a 2 second timer which enabled me to use a long exposure and still get a nice sharp image. The candle was sat on a chair with a plate in front which contained balanced slices of raw jelly cubes, I wanted something that would interact with the candle light and saw some jelly in the cupboard which is nicely translucent. -Liam Welford

used a nikon s210, i was experimenting with the black and white mode at a party during the summer and i took this photo of a tiki torch -James Maha

Shot with Canon T1i ISO 100 at f/29 for 60 seconds. Exposure of 60 seconds was the most detail with the least noise. Still cleaned up some noise in Photoshop and smoothed it a little. -George Washburn

This was "shot" using my Canon 7D with the 50mm f1.8 prime. Tripod, ISO 800, 1/6 shutter, f2.8. The only light in the image is from a taper candle inserted into a disassembled MAG-Lite. To keep the flame from melting the reflective lens of the flashlight, the setup was aimed up and the final image rotated. -Christian Shaffer

This photo was taken with a Nikon D60 with a 18-55 lens @ 33mm. The f-stop was 4.8 and the ISO was 100. The shutter was open for 15 seconds. -Charlie Howell

Camera: Nikon D90 Lens: 50mm F1.8D ISO: 3200 WB: Sunny Aperture: F8 Exposure Time: 8 seconds Waited for candle to be burning fully and then took picture with a tripod. -Nestor David Armas

Canon 50D on a tripod with a Canon Macro EF 100mm lens ISO 1600 f/7.1 1/50 sec -Cody Andrews

I shot this with my Nikon D90 with a Nikkor 50mm lens. I used the following settings: f22 for 8 seconds and iso set at 800. I was in my room and used a black t-shirt as the backdrop, I place a small candle on a raised surface and leaned the light bulb against it and tried to line up the light of the candle with where it come come from the bulb. The 800px image you see is straight off the camera, no photoshop what so ever. -André Westhelle

Nikon D3000 50mm 1.4D ISO 100 Exp 25 sec f/4.5 Tripod The source is a 30"x36" painting is mounted on the wall. With the shutter open for 25 seconds I used the candle to slowly trace certain elements with the candle. This not only creates streams of lights following my trace, but it also delicately lights the painting. Dan Manlongat

I shot this old Winnie the Pooh bear with one candle that I moved around during the exposure. I used a Nikon D5000 camera. It was a 20 second exposure at f/5.3, ISO 200, and 46mm focal length. -Sharon Hardy

Took this with by Nikon D40 18-55m lens with a small tea light candle behind a bottle of ivy my wife is growing. Then lied on the floor for about hour till finally was satisfied with the shot. -Brian W

I used a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35, with a 27mm wide lens, and a 55mm UV protector. The shot was taken in my garage on the band saw table using the candlelight setting on the camera, i also used a telescope tripod for extra stability. -Peter Glitsch

When I lit the candle, the shadows on the wall initially caught my eye. I set up the camera on a tripod, turned out the lights and tried several exposures trying to capture the shadow. When I reviewed the shots, the shadow didn't come out as intended, but I liked the way the golden light reflected off of the statue. I moved the camera in closer and zoomed in tighter to get this shot. Camera: Olympus E-510 Lens: Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f 1:3.5-5.6 (kit lens) Exposure: 1.0s, f 6.3, ISO 200 Focal Length: 35mm (70mm 35mm equivalent) -Mark Clem

Camera: Canon Rebel EOS XSI Lens: Canon 18-55 is taken at F8, ISO 100 Bulb exposure for 30 seconds.with tea light candle. no corrections were made to photos. except for sizing and watermark on wallpaper. -Anthony Dedal

Canon XSi 18-55 lens Promaster CPL filter I set the camera up on my tripod with the aperture set to f/32, ISO 200, shutter set to bulb (84 seconds) and I added a circular polarizer filter so I could get a longer exposure without overexposing the photo. I picked up some spiral birthday candles from the store and bent them a little more, then stuck them in a rolled up piece of paper inside a beer bottle in front of my bathroom mirror with the camera looking up. The streaks of light are little balls of flaming wax that melted and dripped off. Post processing consisted of desaturation, slight curve adjustment, and some spot removal via clone tool. -Bob Sindorf

Nikon D60, tripod Shutter priority mode ISO 800 f/13, 10.0s 52mm (AF-S DX VR nikkor 18-55) Cropped in Aperture 3 -Joseph Rutherford

Springfield, Oregon Camera: Canon 500D Lens: 50mm f/1.8 ISO: 100 Exposure: 8 sec. f-Stop: f/14 -John Sperry

I shot this with my Canon Rebel T1i with a Canon EF 50mm F1.8 lens at iso 1600, the candle is in front of a statue of the Eiffel Tower that casts a shadow on the wall behind it between the two pictures on the wall almost like a face but not really! -Craig Engle

Panasonic DMC-ZS3 F/3.3 ISO 80 4 Sec Exposure Minimalist Photo of the $US20 bill. Used a candle behind the bill illuminate the front and back side. -Ivan Capaz

I took this photo in total darkness, at the knight, in my kitchen, illuminated whit a small old candle. The object is a Oldsmobile super 88 American Muscle Ertl Collectables 1:18. Exposure ¼ sec at f/4.0 Focal length 8.8 mm ISO speed Rating ISO 1600 Camera Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD -D.I. Nestor Fernando Maldonado Murillo

Canon 5D Mark II with 24-105mm lens and a 24mm extension tube to get extreme macro. Aperture priority set to f/5.6 and ISO 3200. Tripod and remote shutter release used to eliminate motion blur while pressing shutter release. Open book on counter, with single candle above it to provide the light. -Pat O'Brien

I set the candle on a vase to get it above the book. Camera: Canon 400D Lens: Canon 50mm F1.8 Shot at: f1.8 ISO 100 Shutter 3.2 seconds. -Jim Cassady

I used my point and shoot SONY DSC-W35. I put the yellow flower on a glass support and the candle behind it to take the picture. f/2.8 shutter 1/25 ISO 100 -Fernanda Flores

I always loved the contrast of fire and water. I can almost feel the tension in the air when those two extremes come together. Anyway... I shot this floating candle in my sink with my Eos 500D and her 18-55mm lens. ISO 3200 / 51mm / f 5.6 / 1/400 sec / as usually no photoshop except for resize. -Roland Renne


I'm calling this shot "unwind". It was shot on March 5, 2010 at 3:30 A.M. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about this shot. I used the snifter to project the candlelight onto the bottle label. Camera: Canon EOS 20D Lens: Canon EF 50 mm f /1.4 USM ISO: 400 Focal Point: 50 mm Aperture: f /5.0 Shutter: 2.5 seconds Exposure Bias: + 0.67 -Dave Zulch

Canon PowerShot A1100IS @ 100 ISO -Felix Kampfer

The picture is taken with a Nikon D80 camera and a 35mm 1:1.8 lens, at ISO 160. It was taken on Saturday 6th of March. The model is sitting on an exercise bike to look like she is levitating. We tried to make it look like a ghost, but after shooting some pictures it looks more that she has hang herself. It turned out to be a little more burlesque than our intention, but we had fun doing it. -Johan Wallinder

The equipment used for this image is a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon EF 24-105 mm f/4L IS USM lens. The photo is a 5 second exposure at f/9.0 and ISO 100. Not sure if it's considered a rule violation, but the match used for lightting the red candle was circulated a few times before moved out of the frame.. :) Tobias Zetterlund

Titled Death by bear by candlelight Nikon D300, 18-200mm Nikon AF-S @46mm F4.5 iso 1600 wb 2500K shutter 1/5 -Glenn Gans

It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils. With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet. It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs. Nikon D200, 35mm f/1.4 lens, ISO 200, 1.1s @ f/1.4, Shot 3/4/2010 12:34:16 AM, color correction in Photoshop. -Steve LaNasa

My wife and I were giving our cat a bath, she had just knocked over the soap and shampoo and left only that bottle of Ralph Lauren Romance sitting in the corner of the bath, so when we finished I grabbed one of our candle holders and a tea light and this is how it turned out. I shot it with my Canon 300D digital rebel. ISO 100, Shot with the stock 18-55mm lens at a focal length of 54mm, 2 second exposure using my tripod. I adjusted the white balance in Photoshop but other than that I left the photo untouched , the candle light was just enough to see the text on the bottle. -Brian Moyno

If participants proved one thing this week, it's that a single candle is more than apt for photography by modern dSLRS. Well, that, and they're all gluttons for punishment. Nice job, everyone.

Now cheer on your favourites in the comments!

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