zondag 16 maart 2014

Smoke photography tutorial

Smoke photography tutorial

Today im going to show you how to get awesome smoke shots, and I'm going to teach you how to edit them with photoshop.

This is one of my results
I really like the color contrast, the things you need:
A camera setup:
I am using a Canon 600D DSLR camera, the most important is that you can manually setup your settings(shutterspeed/ aperture/ ISO). I'm using the 50mm 1:1.8 EF II, I use this one because it doesn't need a lot of light. 
A camera remote is not necessary, but I just want to get the most clean shot. If you are going to use an external light  ( like a LED light/ mobile phone/ cheap camera flash) it's very easy if you have a remote.

 For smoke I use incense, this gives a good smoke and is pretty safe, and it smells good.
For a background i am using a black cloth. 
Step 1. Think about your safety , don't burn your house down.
Step 2. Setup your camera:
First set your ISO to 100 , I used in some photo's +- 400 , you already see a lot of noise wich you want to reduce as much as you can,I think it's the best to get your shutter speed as fast as possible without dissolving your smoke to much.

Light: I used my telephone light, i rather use a external camera flash , but I'm a beginner with a low budget, if you're going to use a external flash (recomended)  , make sure your flash is going at exactly the same time as your shutter.
Also make sure your flash don't reflect on the black background, try to shoot it at the smoke and cover it on the background side.

Format: RAW , I use RAW so you can affect the picture more before you're going to edit it.

Step 3: Light your subject up, you also can use a candle, but it give less smoke and you have to light it up every time. Watch out you don't burn your house down.

Step 4:Shoot some pictures , till you think it's good.

f1.8/ISO 400/ 1/160

f2.5/ ISO 800/ 1/100

Step 5:When you think you have enough, you are going to import it to your computer, make a selection and open them in Adobe Photoshop. 
If you use CS6 it will automaticly open in a raw viewer, here you can edit it a little bit, try to reduce noise and get a clear sharp image. You also can give it a little bit effect over here like this one.

Okay, let's edit the smoke and the background.
Step 6: Open the image, make sure the smoke is white, use Ctrl+i 


Make a new layer and start to color it with a soft-edged brush and set the blend mode of this layer from normal to overlay. Turn it however you want and give it some adjustments with your brush/ eraser.

You also can use gradients ( dubble click on the brushed layer and go to  'gradient overlay' choose what you want but set the blend mode to 'overlay'

Now you are finished, try it out and try to be creative with photoshop.

Next time I'll try to get a better light source, so i can put my ISO down to 100 and set an faster shutterspeed and an smaller aperture to get the best resolution.

I hope you learned something on my blog, any tips/ tricks/questions/problems/results? Comment it down here :).

Have a nice day

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