Getting Creative with Flash
Here’s the thing, a couple of weeks back I spent out on buying some additional flashguns (an 430EX and a 580EX) which allows me to set off a number of flashguns to highlight subjects in a different way. Having only used a flashgun in the camera hotshoe to illuminate subjects at events, I wasn’t entirely sure how much I would be able to do outside of events photography. However, having decided on a project, I set about creating a mini-studio for my first ever attempts at smoke photography.
Positioning the flashes, I lit the joss-stick and set about taking some initially images. As it turned out, it was a good job I only took a few as after loading them into Lightroom, they were disappointing to say the least. As time went on though, I found it amazing that by only slightly moving the flashguns and changing the output power (brightness of the flash) the results improved dramatically, and after using some of my newly gained Lightroom skills, added some colour to create the images you see below.
Want to try your smoke photography? Here are my top 5 tips:
1. Open your windows. Sounds obvious but good ventilation was a must for me (the breeze can also create different effects)
2. Use a tripod. There is no way I could have shot handheld.
3. Ensure a plain, black background. Much easier for post-production and tracking the smoke when shooting.
4. Use Auto and Manual Focus. Pre-focus on where you want to photograph (I used a stick) then switch to manual.
5. Position a flashgun under the smoke pointing upwards. Captures more detail and more even spread of light.
Bonus Tip: Add colour in post-production. The images were pretty ordinary without colour so be creative.
Would love to know your thoughts.