Burning Matches in Slo-Mo

Chris Higgins

In this five-minute video, photographer Nick Moore shows us how to build and photograph your own micro-forest fire, using strike-anywhere matches in a workshop setting. While the building-the-rig portion may seem slow at first, it becomes fascinating when the camera shifts into slow-motion and fast-motion, as appropriate for the length of each task. By the 3-minute mark, we're eagerly anticipating the lighting of the matchstick forest, and it does not disappoint -- just before the 4-minute mark, we see (and hear) the slow-motion burnination of the box of matches, arranged in a grid. The beautiful ending is worth the wait. (Or if you're really impatient, I guess you could skip ahead and then rewind to see how it was put together.)

Behold, a conflagration of matches:

You might also enjoy this video showing 300 matches from another source, but it lacks audio and is overexposed during the height of the fire. Also pertinent: a still photo of Moore's matchstick forest after the burn.