How to write your name in lights
- Camera with B setting, preferably an SLR: a timer is nice, too
- Reasonably uniform background
- Reasonably dark night
- Firework sparkler
Set up the camera on the tripod - make sure it has film in it! - and focus
a few feet in front of your background. Set the aperture fairly small (I can't recall what I used, f8 will probably do: maybe take a couple at different settings).
Select the B setting so the shutter will stay open until you close it manually.
Get everything ready for lighting the sparkler and start the timer, or just open the shutter.
Take up your position just behind the plane you've focused on.
Light the sparkler while facing away from the camera, to stop unwanted light reaching the film.
Once the sparkler is going properly, turn around and write your name in the air, BACKWARDS.
If you move around a bit as you do it, you won't register on the film except perhaps as a slight shadowing - wear dark clothes (maybe a balaclava!).
You really need to think about how much space this is going to take up, and how the letters are going to be joined.
Practise a few times with an unlit sparkler before you fire off any film, and try to visualise the results, so you know you'll get something you like.