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Photo critique Here is where you can display your images and seek the comment, advice and, maybe, constructive critique of your work. Only post your images here if you are happy for frank feedback. If in doubt, use the beginners board instead. Only post your comments here if you feel you can make a constructive and polite contribution in response to what is, for some, a leap of faith in exposing their work to your critical comment.

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  #1  
Old 26-10-06
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Smile Smoke experiments

This is a first attempt, inspired by some of the smoke images from DJN. It's not in the same league as his recent ones but hey, you have to start somewhere, eh.




Pol
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  #2  
Old 26-10-06
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Re: Smoke experiments

......... and this shows how the smoke was generated. Burning Joss sticks, flame from the longer one was useful for lighting and prefocussing on the smoke columns.



Pol
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Old 26-10-06
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Re: Smoke experiments

Hi Pol

I like the top one a lot, I think the white background being very white contrasts well against the dark smoke, looks very much like silk floating through the air.

It's one of those shots on my list of things to have a go at along with splashes in oil, paint, water etc

Cheers for showing what you used to make the smoke.


Stu
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  #4  
Old 26-10-06
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Re: Smoke experiments

Fascinating experiment. I would never had guessed at the 1st image being smoke but I put that down to the background. Had the impression of a flimsy sort of material floating down.
I prefer the 2nd shot with the orange flame contrasting with the smoke and the black background.
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Old 26-10-06
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Re: Smoke experiments

Pol

I hope you don't mind but I really had to have a go.

So I got all set up fired off some shots, realised I had no card in the camera, laughed at myself, started again binned the lot.
Then I read a tutorial set the lighting up a bit better played in PS and ended up with this shot.

Not as good as yours but I'm getting there, Sloooooowly

Cheers for getting my interest going, the house smells nice and my eyes are sore fom the smoke.

Stu

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Old 26-10-06
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Re: Smoke experiments

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goatsmilkuk View Post
Pol

I hope you don't mind but I really had to have a go.

So I got all set up fired off some shots, realised I had no card in the camera, laughed at myself, started again binned the lot.
Then I read a tutorial set the lighting up a bit better played in PS and ended up with this shot.

Not as good as yours but I'm getting there, Sloooooowly

Cheers for getting my interest going, the house smells nice and my eyes are sore fom the smoke.

Stu

I must say I like both yours and Pols pictures. Don't think I'll be trying it. Hang on where's me Woodbine's
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  #7  
Old 26-10-06
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Re: Smoke experiments

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goatsmilkuk View Post
Pol

I hope you don't mind but I really had to have a go.

So I got all set up fired off some shots, realised I had no card in the camera, laughed at myself, started again binned the lot.
Then I read a tutorial set the lighting up a bit better played in PS and ended up with this shot.

Not as good as yours but I'm getting there, Sloooooowly

Cheers for getting my interest going, the house smells nice and my eyes are sore fom the smoke.

Stu

Not bad, not bad at all. As a matter of fact I was going to suggest you might enjoy having a go at it whilst you're stuck at home.

The idea is to isolate the smoke against a pure black background then invert the shot. Inverting makes the black background turn white, then you can colourise the smoke.

You need to aim to get a good enough depth of field, as much as possible in sharp focus so the edges and lines are as clean as possible.

My method was based on how DJN approached it.

1) Black background - I used a length of black velvet I keep specifically for backgrounds. Black card would also be ok.

2) Lighting from one side only - I used off camera flash with the flash mounted near and to the right of the Joss sticks.

3) A couple of black reflectors - I placed those opposite the flashgun as I didn't want any light bouncing back from the left side.

4) Camera on a tripod with cable release - prefocused on the smoke, which is how that flame/smoke image came about ...... it was my test shot and focusing guide but I liked it so I kept it.

If you don't have an off-camera extension cable you can use a silver reflector. Mount the camera in portrait mode with the flashgun attached then it can fire off to one side - set it up at a suitable angle to bounce off a silver reflector angled so the light bounces back to hit the smoke. I tried that method yesterday and it worked quite well.

I used Rose perfumed Joss sticks so it wasn't too bad.

Have fun.

Pol
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  #8  
Old 26-10-06
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Re: Smoke experiments

Quote:
Originally Posted by lumix View Post
I must say I like both yours and Pols pictures. Don't think I'll be trying it. Hang on where's me Woodbine's
Go on - have a bash, Ron. Just don't make too much mess in the living room.

Pol
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Old 26-10-06
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Re: Smoke experiments

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pol View Post
This is a first attempt, inspired by some of the smoke images from DJN. It's not in the same league as his recent ones but hey, you have to start somewhere, eh.




Pol

Hi Pol,

You did a good effort with the smoke there and with the entire set up. The photos very realistic in presenting a smoke's flow.
Personally, I prefer the shot with the flame since it captures 2in1 (smoke and flame) and also because the first shot with the smoke only looks to me like the negative of a normal photo.

Regards
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  #10  
Old 27-10-06
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Re: Smoke experiments

Thanks for the set up info Pol.

What I used was a black cotton t-shirt pinned to a notice board hung on the wall, a 20w halogen desk lamp below and to the right of the smoke pointing up.
I held a card with writing on, in the smoke, used a manual focus on the card so I knew where the smoke would/should rise.
Had the camera on a tripod parallel to the smoke, tried not too breath too much and took it from there.

It still smells of plum with a hint of peach in here.

Looking forward to round 2 in the morning, shall try the flash and reflector setup you mentioned.


Stu
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  #11  
Old 27-10-06
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Re: Smoke experiments

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pol View Post
This is a first attempt, inspired by some of the smoke images from DJN. It's not in the same league as his recent ones but hey, you have to start somewhere, eh.

Pol
Oh this is just great! I love it Pol!

I might be tempted to have a bash as well some time. No external flash at the moment, so will have to wait until I get one of those.

One question....got any more?
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Old 27-10-06
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Re: Smoke experiments

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pops View Post
Fascinating experiment. I would never had guessed at the 1st image being smoke but I put that down to the background. Had the impression of a flimsy sort of material floating down.
I prefer the 2nd shot with the orange flame contrasting with the smoke and the black background.
I agree - the effect doesn't look like smoke in the more conventional 'cloudy' sense at all - very impressive effect!

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  #13  
Old 27-10-06
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Re: Smoke experiments

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
I agree - the effect doesn't look like smoke in the more conventional 'cloudy' sense at all - very impressive effect!

Ian
BRAVO, brilliant shot, I love it.

Danny
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Old 27-10-06
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Re: Smoke experiments - getting freaky with it

and with a bit of creative lighting (this was done with 2 coloured studio flash heads and NOT post processing, for a worth contest, last year) you can get some pretty wild results.....


'twas called "blood rose"
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  #15  
Old 27-10-06
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Thumbs up Re: Smoke experiments - getting freaky with it

Quote:
Originally Posted by devilgas View Post
and with a bit of creative lighting (this was done with 2 coloured studio flash heads and NOT post processing, for a worth contest, last year) you can get some pretty wild results.....

'twas called "blood rose"

Yay - that's fantastic! Good title too!

I'm finding part of the fun, and frustration, is managing to capture an 'artistic' plume of smoke. You certainly caught one there and with the colours bang on target! (I'd be adding a 'thumbs-up' smilie here if we had one available)

Pol
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