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When photo shoots go wrong

Don't do this at home. It's what happens when a photographer and a journalist are allowed free rein with some sparklers and a bowl of noodles. And a photoshoot goes spectacularly explosive. 

Last week photographer Jay Cronan and I went into the Canberra Times studio to create a cover image for today's Food and Wine magazine.

We wanted something to convey the lights of the Enlighten Night Noodle Markets which are coming to Canberra for the first time from this Friday, February 27 to March 8 on the lawns between Questacon and the National Portrait Gallery. 

Noodles with spark

Noodles with spark. Photo: Jay Cronan

We had a lot of ideas to work through and to shoot - which was easy enough. But then we decided to ramp things up a little by adding a big handful of sparklers into a bowl full of noodles. For full workplace health and safety compliance, Jay prepared a fire extinguisher. And we moved our iPhones to the other end of the room. Then we lit up the sparklers. 


The noodles catch fire.

The noodles catch fire.

The result was pretty impressive.

"Fireball" is another way of describing it. Jay, ever the professional, fired off (pardon the pun) dozens of shots before the conflagration in a noodle bowl died down. And then the fire alarms went off throughout the newsroom. 

Now the fire brigade is on its way.

Now the fire brigade is on its way.

The final shot Jay produced is a thing of beauty. There's far too much flame in it to use on a magazine cover, which is why this week's Food  and Wine magazine features the much more restrained use of sparkler. But photos like this are part of the joy of the job - that and the merciless ribbing we got from our colleagues when we walked back into the newsroom. 

*The Enlighten Night Noodle Markets start this Friday, February 27 and  run till March 8. Stalls open 5pm on weekdays and 4pm on weekend. The markets are accompanied by special dinners, lunches and offers for the  Canberra Times Good Food Month which runs until March 15.