Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
05-05-2008, 06:56 AM   #1
Junior Member

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41
Smoke Pictures

I'm trying to shoot some pictures of smoke. The pictures are at the link below. I think they are okay, but certainly not good. I was wondering what suggestions you all have for me to improve them. I am using a pretty crude set up as follows:

Camera: K100 D in RAW mode at 6MP with shake and noise reduction on. ISO 200. Contrast, sharpness, and saturation all set to +1. WB set to flash.

Tripod: Yes

Backdrop: Black t-shirt

Smoke source: incense held by burner. Smoke plume is approximately 4 inches from lens. Smoke source is approximately 12-14 inches from black backdrop.

Setting: Dark room.

Flash: Manually discharging a flash (TTL) that is approximately 24 inches perpendicular to the smoke source. The flash has a snood made of paper around it to direct the light at the smoke.

I am opening the shutter in bulb mode and then triggering the flash manually.

I have noticed that all the pics have a white haze on them when I download them to my computer. I use the "I'm feeling lucky" function on Picasa and it seems to take care of the haze, but then my backdrop shows up as brown and I seem to get a lot of noise. I'm cranking up the shadows on each pic to get rid of the brown background without losing the smoke.

I am thinking about getting a slave flash that I can trigger with my onboard flash. I was also thinking about using some black muslin as a backdrop rather than a t-shirt.

I welcome any criticism or suggestions to improve these.

Thanks in advance!


Picasa Web Albums - runjmb - Smoke

05-05-2008, 09:02 AM   #2
Site Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Dayton, OH
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,154
I;ve never tried to photograph smoke but here is a tutorial you may find helpful.

Smoke Shots - Tutorials

05-05-2008, 07:53 PM   #3
Veteran Member

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Buffalo/Rochester, NY
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,133
I would suggest experimenting with other backdrop colors/textures, and different color lights for added "flavor"

Also, instead of using I'm Feeling Lucky, play with contrast, brightness, and gamma. I would suggest bumping up the contrast to highlight the details. You can do the same with gamma, but I don't remember seeing gamma adjustments in Picasa.

Hope this helps!

  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
backdrop, camera, dslr, flash, haze, inches, noise, photography, picasa, pictures, smoke, source, t-shirt
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Smoke or Water? bt*ist Monthly Photo Contests 0 10-31-2010 04:47 AM
People Where there's smoke there's fire memphis mike Post Your Photos! 1 10-23-2010 08:16 PM
Abstract Flame and Smoke eaglem Post Your Photos! 2 08-30-2010 04:49 PM
Misc Smoke mel Post Your Photos! 12 12-31-2009 04:19 PM
smoke and dslr houstonmacgregor Pentax DSLR Discussion 13 02-05-2009 06:09 PM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:13 AM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]