Friday, May 28, 2010

Smoke Art - Photography

Smoke Photography can free your imagination. I was browsing Graham Jeffery’s (who has mastered the art of smoke photography) pictures and found it very impressive and fascinating. The link from his website contains his amazing work and also explains the technique to shoot smoke along with post processing tips on smoke shots.

Here are few points which I learnt while shooting smoke
1.The cheapest way to get the “right” kind of smoke is using incense sticks.
2.Smoke is sensitive to even the tiniest of disturbances; use this to your advantage to sculpt your photo. Even smoke likes to dance on A.R. Rehman’s music.
3.Lighting plays a very important role while shooting smoke. You need a good depth of field (DOF) to capture all the details of a smoke column. To accomplish that you’ll need a well lit smoke with the most powerful source of light you can find.
4.The smoke produced by incense sticks is a light white color, so use a darker background. In this way you’ll have great contrast between the foreground and the background to better capture the nuances in the smoke. It’s common to see white smoke on a black background, and it’s easier to take the photo that way. But what about all those images with colored smoke with white background? Those are false negatives, created in post-processing.
5.To get the smoke focused can be difficult. Use any object or your own hand and place it the same distance as the smoke and use auto focus to focus it and after the auto-focus is done with its job, it’s time to turn manual focus on and start shooting without moving the camera.
6.ISO settings should be low as smoke has dust and you don’t want to introduce additional grains due to high ISO.
7.Once you get nice picture you can use any image processing software to post process the shots. Mainly cleaning up imperfections on the background, adjust contrast, sharpening, inverting, coloring, cropping ……

Link below discuss more about smoke photography and smoke art

Smoke Collage

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Photographing Special Effects - Multiple Exposure

Moon Light
While your camera is adept at recording the real world, you can also use it to create fantasy images that will baffle and delight your viewers. Among the most notable of these special effects is multiple exposure – two or more images superimposed or juxtaposed.
You might be wondering how there can be so many shots of American cities including a full moon when most buildings are too tall for a natural moonrise over the city skyline. The answer is simple: the magic of double exposure. I prefer this treatment because I can then decide exactly where I want the moon to be in my compositions.
In double and multiple exposures, one or more captures are combined to create a single well-exposed image. Thus if you want to create a double exposure, you must shoot two images, both underexposed by one stop, and combine them to get correct double exposure.
In some multiple exposures, much of the superimposed images will overlap. Try to make the images complement one another and distribute their tones to avoid too much exposure in one area and not enough in another.
Table below shows the exposure based on the number of images in montage.
Number of Images in montage
Number of f-stops to decrease exposure.
1 ½
2 ¼
2 ½
2 ¾

There is an important aspect to note about double and multiple exposures. Once an area is fully exposed to white, it cannot be exposed with any other color. This is one reason why you don’t see multiple exposures shot in snow.
Despite the need to be careful and precise, you will find that creating a double exposure is easy. You shoot the two compositions at one stop under the indicated reading.

Multiple Exposure

Multiple Exposure