Abandoned mental hospital on Staten Island, N.Y.
Abandoned mental hospital on Staten Island, N.Y.
Photograph by Maciek Jasik

Showers of Sparks, Colorful Smoke Make Abandoned Places Come Alive

This photographer uses fireworks to do more than celebrate the Fourth of July.

For photographer Maciek Jasik, fireworks are more than a mainstay of Fourth of July. They’re a way to illuminate ordinary or abandoned spaces.

For three years, Jasik has been using color smoke and fireworks to create dreamlike images that are at once haunting and electric.

“I think my initial complete ignorance of these materials kind of allowed me to do things that I normally wouldn’t have done, just because I was really excited to play with these materials,” he says.

That doesn’t mean that he’s reckless. Jasik says he always carries a fire extinguisher with him and has never been singed or injured.

To capture these images, Jasik uses either a remote trigger or an intervalometer, which takes several photos a set time apart. That way, he can set off the fireworks, then run for cover while the camera captures the image.

“When I was in Albania last summer, I used the intervalometer a lot because I had to go very far away from the camera,” he says. At one point, he visited a “huge industrial building that was probably 100 feet long, 100 feet high, and I set off a very large firework inside to create this huge light sculpture.

“I didn’t actually see any of the fireworks—I was entirely just running for safety.”

Needless to say, don’t try this at home.

Follow Becky Little on Twitter.

 

Read This Next

Meat production leads to thousands of air quality-related deaths annually

At last, a malaria vaccine has passed important clinical trials

Oil company accused of ignoring community concerns about water, wildlife

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet