|Smoke or Ghost of Dinosaur?|
Tonight, Thursday, was Stroud Camera Club night. It was one of our practical evenings where we bring our cameras and laptops and props and things and have a night of sharing, learning and trying new things. On this evening we had a lot of laptops and post processing going on, including one station doing a bit of HDR. But we also had a little mini studio set up in the kitchen where we were being shown by one club member, Mr Jay Martin, how to photograph smoke. I'd never done this before so I mostly hung out with these guys.
|Camera remotely fired flash|
We tried two different ways of photographing the smoke. We used black card for the background and against the wall to help control the light. We used a radio trigger to fire an off camera flash gun. And we used a another remote to trigger the camera. We used all manual settings, including the focus. And our cameras were mounted on tripods. (Note: As we were shooting in almost complete darkness the camera's auto focus does not work.) I'm not sure what Jay's settings were on his camera as I was off running my mouth when he was setting it up, but I think it was something like this: ISO 100; F5.6; 1/125th of a second exposure. Not a bad place to start in any case. The flash gun was set to 1/16th power. For the smoke we used an incense stick stuck in a ball of blue tack.
|Flash gun manually fired|
The second way we photographed the smoke is the way in which I photographed all three of these images. Basically the same set up only I had my camera set up for a 2 second exposure. The flash gun in this case was fired manually, during the 2 second exposure. As we were in the dark the flash from the flashgun froze everything and correctly exposed the smoke.
I really enjoyed this and plan on giving this a another go when I get some free time. All three images on this page were taken tonight by me with a Canon 5D II with a 50mm 1.4 lens. The camera settings were as follows: ISO 100 at F9 with a 2 second exposure. In the top image the smoke has a blueish tent, I added this in post processing.
Do you see the dinosaur in the top photo? Looks like one to me. :-)