Saturday, October 27, 2007

First try at smoke art

There was a great link over at to Graham Jeffery's smoke art tutorial Its been a rainy week all week here in the DC metro area. So what better way to kill a couple hours. So I set up with a ultra600 head at full power in a med. softbox and put a reflector on the other side, used D200 w/ 105 micro at f22 with a sync of 250th. It is imparitive that you use a shutter release because you have to manipulate the smoke (incense) while it is burning. I used a my hand to cup the smoke, or just blew it to clear the air and start new batch of smoke. After a lot of trial and error, the bottom line is just as it says on his tutorial, you need a lot of light, depth of field, and a bunch of smoke. The small thin incense sticks I were using gave me a couple results for me to take into CS3. After I found an image that I liked I opened it in camera raw, bumped the exoposure, blacks, and clarity. Opened in CS3, inverted, did 2 hue/sat layers, soft brush on vector mask to paint in color, also painted out any amoke I did not like for a final image. This was FUN I must say. With all this rain and winter approaching I am sure that I am going to go back to this project. I must get more smoke though.


Jeff Revell said...

That's a great little home studio setup you have there. Have you tried moving even closer to the smoke with your lens? I was also wondering if you tried without the reflector or just using direct strobe without the softbox. I am curious at how the direct flash would look instead of a diffused lighting source. I might give it a run tomorrow after all my "chores" are done. I have an idea for a series of these images if it works out like I want. I'll send some over your way after I have finished.

M Palmer said...

Hey Jeff, I did not try any other set up - I am gonna wait until I get an incense that produces more smoke. Good tip on changing my light set ups and moving in closer. Looking forward to seeing your shots.