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Light Painting with Fire - FAQ

Can I use any old rope for this?

No, most ropes won't soak up the fuel well, and therefore won't stay lit for very long. 

Can I use a nylon strap for this? 

You can try, but it doesn't work very well.  It doesn't hold much fuel, so it doesn't burn for long or very bright.  Also, even if you extinguish it before it runs out of fuel, the strap still melts/burns itself, so you only get a couple pictures out of it. 

How long will the Kevlar fire wick last?

A long time.  I've burned mine about 30 times and it still works perfectly. 

Would it hurt if I touched the fire?


Is this legal?

As long as you aren't doing it somewhere with a burn ban in place, or on private property, yes it should be legal.  

Where can I get Coleman's fuel?

Walmart.  It's cheaper in stores than online.  Walmart has it, and I'm sure any camping store does too.  It's in the outdoor/camping/hunting area.

Can I do this in the rain?

Yes, it is fun to do in a light drizzle.  Just be sure to protect the cameras.  Water reflections on the car might look really cool. 

How long does this take?

Set up:  15 minutes

Taking pictures: 20-40 minutes

Take down:  15 minutes

Editing:  1 hour

What do I do with the extra Coleman's fuel?

If there's a lot you can pour it back into the container, it shouldn't really matter.  I'm a bad person, and I pour any extra out on the ground.  Don't light it on fire, it burns a lot longer than you expect and will leave a black mark on concrete.

Is this dangerous for the car?

As long as you keep the fire 1-2 feet away, no.  If you plan to take any pictures with the fire above the car, make sure you give it time to drip any extra fuel onto the ground before you go above the car.  Also, don't have the car running at the time. 


Should I tell my parents I'm doing this? 

If you're going to be safe about it, it's probably better to not tell them until afterwards, otherwise they might not let you do it at all.  I just told my parents I was going to take some pictures with friends, and then I showed them the pictures after we were done (and no one had gotten hurt).  

How can I get friends to help me with this?

Just ask some guys "Hey, do you like playing with fire?" Most guys will respond with a yes.  Then you explain. 

Where should I store all this stuff?

Store the Coleman fuel outside somewhere, preferably in a shed.  I think mine is currently in the garage (attached to the house) which isn't ideal.  Everything else can just go wherever you want.  

Will it smell?

The fire wick and holding sticks will smell burnt for a few days after you use them.  The towel will also smell burnt until you wash/dry it.  

Will the towel get burnt?

Yes, it might end up with some burnt spots on it if it wasn't wet enough.  Use a towel you don't care too much about. 

Will I get burnt?

No, not if you follow instructions and don't do anything dumb. 

What if my question isn't on here?

Email me -

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