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05-05-2008, 06:56 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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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!

Joe

Picasa Web Albums - runjmb - Smoke

05-05-2008, 09:02 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Dayton, OH
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I;ve never tried to photograph smoke but here is a tutorial you may find helpful.

Smoke Shots - Tutorials

Tim
05-05-2008, 07:53 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Buffalo/Rochester, NY
Photos: Albums
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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!
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