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Discussion Starter #1
Ive used oil lanterns in the past and this year i am planning on using some gas lights. Has anyone had any experience with fire/natural gas lighting etc. for props? Is there anything i should know other than the typical safety issues?
 

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We use fire all the time. Both in tiki torches and in propane fueled firepits.


First lessons learned:

I highly recommend taking pictures of your props by firelight. It does some funny things to some paint jobs.
Maximizing your shadows with firelight:

here's some test pics from '07 when I was first starting to use torches.

Skulls on poles, easy, "fits" the overall fire idea.



Notice how all the different shades are more or less made equal under firelight. (torches on either side of pic)

Notice as well, however, the skulls in the center of the pic have really good shadow definition in eye and nose sockets, while those at the edges are all washed out? The ones on the edges were facing the firelight.




Notice skulls all turned away from torch light to highlight eyesockets, and torch being used to cast shadows on house:



Next lessons: Less is more. Allow darkness to work with your fire. Any fire gives you a radius of where it lights. You don't need the entire thing lit.


Torches placed on far side of sheaves specifically to keep path dark:



Bright fire followed by dark behind provides a sense of mystery and good hiding places for things in the dark part...




Still figuring out:

Fire as accent rather than primary lighting, mix cool floods with your fire. I haven't got that mastered yet, but we're working on it.



 

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I use fire in my haunt every year too. Just make sure you’re careful. Have at least two ABC fire extinguishers on hand and place them strategically. If you are using oil lanterns don’t use water it will probably make it worse (oil floats on water). Keep the flames clear of anything else even if you don’t think it will burn. Wind is going to probably be one of the biggest problems as it was for me last year it kept blowing everything out it was strong enough to blow out my propane based lamps (and they weren’t that small either).
 

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one thing I have always dreamed of is pyrotechnics but the cost and safety issue and the city getting mad are enough to deter me every year.
 

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So far everything with propane has an automatic earthquake valve so if it shakes or falls the gas is cut off. I really hadnt thought about the wind. Maybe ill put in a pilot generator valve to cut gas in case of lost flame. Thanks for the thoughts about lighting and shadow wash. What sort of issues with the city getting mad. And lastly Z smart a$$. I know where you live. Thanks for the thoughts and comments.
 

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So far everything with propane has an automatic earthquake valve so if it shakes or falls the gas is cut off. I really hadnt thought about the wind. Maybe ill put in a pilot generator valve to cut gas in case of lost flame. Thanks for the thoughts about lighting and shadow wash. What sort of issues with the city getting mad. And lastly Z smart a$$. I know where you live. Thanks for the thoughts and comments.

Depending on where you live there are fire restrictions in place. Adding a 20 ft column of flame is generally frowned upon without proper licenses.


that said....http://www.fsplimited.com/5073.html (just place it upward to create flame column...)






On the safety front, I have had 1 accident in the last 6 years. It was a design flaw in a torch, that eventually got recalled. The plastic fuel canister MELTED because the lid got so hot. Fortunately it happened during one of my aforementioned prop lighting tests. I won't buy plastic fuel canister torches anymore, though. Even though they are supposedly 'fixed' with a little gap between canister and lid now.
 
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