Smoke Art Photography

For this post my photos were influenced by this link.  It gives a good explanation and good tips.  I did deviate from it some.  For example, I opted for a smaller aperture than suggested most of the time.  I also didn’t have any incense sticks which made it much more difficult and more unsuccessful.  More than anything, due to the relatively low amount of success I had, it essentially became a practice session on lighting.

First I set up a dark background and a candle.  I turned off the light and just started testing with different light settings.  I took a few test shots first before I started wasting matches.

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Then I let ‘er rip.  I killed the flame and snapped as many shots as possible.

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Did another test shot.

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At this point I’m starting to worry I won’t get anything special after all this effort.

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At this point I started playing with shutter speed, zoom, positioning, and light setting.  I took a few test shots.

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Pew, pew, pew goes the shutter.

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Did another few at a faster shutter speed, but I got black bars.  I read this article to make sure I understood the reason behind this, and I did, though it was beneficially to read either way.

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Now I try to get a little closer in to get more smoke detail.

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Of course I do more test shots.

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Fire, or not, as it maybe.

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Now I have one last strategy—use three candles.

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These ended up being the only two I edited.  They looked the coolest.  The candle not within the frame was the only one that really worked for this failed experiment.  I was trying out the great DigiKam through this editing process.  It seems at least at the level of Darktable, though it is more multiple-functional than Darktable.  Now that I look at the processed shots, the contrast seems a little funky.  It seems that it removes detail.

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The smoke fades away on this last shot.

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I’d like to get some incense sticks to do this the better way.  I still had fun doing this, but not having much success just due to not having a large plume of smoke is irritating.

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