Bifurcated candle wick

Yesterday evening I noticed that one of the candle wicks had split, so the flame from the candle on the left had two bases, if that makes any sense. I thought it was amusing.

candles

I still have yet to figure out the proper settings to get a photo of a crisp, clear candle flame in total darkness or near darkness. It’s easier to get a clear flame when there is more ambient light, but that’s not what I want to do. I think spot metering makes a difference. (Before, when using P mode, my candle pics all ended up looking something like this.) I tried a few apertures and shutter speeds, but I didn’t have as much time to experiment before the flames were extinguished. The one that I posted here is f/5 and 1/250, but I think it’s underexposed.

Anyone know what settings it takes to get a good shot of a candle flame in complete darkness?

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