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.
Then I let ‘er rip. I killed the flame and snapped as many shots as possible.
Did another test shot.
At this point I’m starting to worry I won’t get anything special after all this effort.
At this point I started playing with shutter speed, zoom, positioning, and light setting. I took a few test shots.
Pew, pew, pew goes the shutter.
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.
Now I try to get a little closer in to get more smoke detail.
Of course I do more test shots.
Fire, or not, as it maybe.
Now I have one last strategy—use three candles.
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.
The smoke fades away on this last shot.
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.