“Hitsuke Tozoku” (The Fire Bandits) were started by a backpacker named Nori in 2003. Mostly backpackers originally, they are self-taught artists who perform at festivals, raves and other events across Japan. Their performance incorporates fire, light, dance, and juggling. Nori-san specializes in fire play, and is known for his spinning fire hat. Other members include Okotanpe-san, who is a “contact juggler” and Iyoiyo-san who is a fire belly dancer. I caught their late afternoon performance, as the sky was darkening, and the fire became more and more the primary light source. I decided to underexpose by a stop or two so that the highlights from the fire would not be too blown out. This caused the area outside the circle of light to be underexposed, helping to draw attention to the performers. I chose to shoot the late afternoon show rather than the night show because I wanted enough remaining ambient light to illuminate the temple behind them. I had to change my settings several times as the sky darkened, but I was pleased with the contrast between the warm fire and the cool sky. I edited a few shots in black and white to focus more on tonal contrast than color contrast, and give a different feel. The Fire Bandits put on a great performance, and I highly recommend catching them if you have the chance! You can learn about future performances at their website: www.firebandit.net They have an English link as well.