About time I post a pic or two - Page 3
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Old 03-24-2007   #21
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Default Tutorial #5

Now, I usually crop and then rotate the image to suit.

In this one, I liked the look of it drifting across the frame so I flipped horizontal and then rotated 90 degrees clockwise.

If I want a white background, at this point I would just invert the image.

Now the background would be white and the smoke grey to black. You can see the effect of that in my original post.

The final step is basically a simple Hue adjustment with colorize ticked.
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Old 03-24-2007   #22
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Default Tutorial #6

For a more dynamic look, I would duplicate the layer and then apply gradients to a mask.

By adjusting the hue of each layer, you can produce the final image I posted earlier. The series of layers in this image is:
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Old 03-24-2007   #23
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Default Tutoiral #7: Camera settings and summary

OK, to summarize:

1. shoot against a black background with a nice strong light from the side
2. Adjust the levels in the image to give a completely black background and nice light grey/white smoke
3. Colorize the smoke with a Hue adjustment.

That's really all you have to do. The rest that I've mentioned above is totally optional.

In relation to camera settings, like Athena mentioned in her post, you need a reasonable depth of field otherwise the smoke will drift in and out of focus.

I always stop right down and then sinc at the max speed for the camera (with the SB-800 off camera, this gives me 1/250 on my D200).

The small aperture and fast shutter helps to keep the background black, while the flash gives the smoke plenty of separation from the background.

I shoot in manual mode for this.

I hope that helps.

Regards,

Peter
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Old 03-24-2007   #24
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Default Re: About time I post a pic or two

Peter - an excellent tutorial. Thanks a lot and may lots of karma go your way .
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Old 03-24-2007   #25
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Default Re: About time I post a pic or two

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Shields View Post
Peter - an excellent tutorial. Thanks a lot and may lots of karma go your way .
Thanks Paul. A comment like that coming from you meens a lot. Having looked at your work on the camel, I'm totally in awe, so when you give me a compliment, I just don't know what to say.

In relation to what you said, I hope everyone gets some good (real) karma from this.

As a final point I should say:

this photography is so easy and the result is so impressive for the effort, that if you are struggling at any point in your photography, I would recommend you go to this. Very quickly you can boost your confidence and then get back into something a bit more difficult.

That's why I shoot smoke a lot. It helps me with my post processing (I try a lot of things all the time) and when I need a quick pick-me-up, the smoke photo's provide a lot of bang-for-the-buck and a real lift.

Regards,

Peter
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Old 03-26-2007   #26
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Default Re: About time I post a pic or two

The inverted one is really nice.. This smoke photography is so much fun! I really advise everybody to give it a try!
Once I saw some recognisable shapes in my smoke pictures, I tried getting more, and editing to bring out the shape a bit better.
Good tutorial, I basically do it the same way, but have to hand-hold my flash in the same hand as the remote shutter, and in my other hand I have the incence stick.. I move it around a bit to get different smoke patterns..






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