Fire & Smoke...

So I was doing some photos and video for a project and decided to shoot some extra images for myself...

Of FIRE... and SMOKE!

Well, just a bit-o-fire and a bit-o-smoke...

And, did I mention, I had to set things on FIRE!

Okay, it was just candles...

Small space... Daylight...

Ya' know - my usual...

So first I wanted the fire - the color, the texture, the symmetry (of my candle holder thingiemajiggie)...

A little depth-of-field playing aroundness...

Again, my usual...

But then, as I was photographing the fire, I realized there was SMOKE!

Oooooh - COOL!

Yes, I am easily entertained...

And my lighting was already setup to make the most of said smoke!

Light arranged in relation to smoke to shine through it.

Extra COOL!

Yep - me, easily entertained... again.

First shot - pretty much straight on from above...

Next, some angles to see how much I can do with perspective... this impacting not only the depth of field but also how the candle holder did or did not reflect the candle light - which was another COOL part I discovered as I moved around!

Yep - still easily entertained.

 


Then... SMOKE!

 

 

Biggest challenge - blowing out the candles gently enough to not splash and to not blow away the smoke... my secret - exhale on the flame as opposed to blowing on it... just enough breath to gently extinguish it - and then be IMMEDIATELY ready for the shot!

Now for a bit of behind-the-scenes...

Candles in holder across table... off camera flash pointed at candles from side - set to VERY low power (1/256th), VERY wide zoom (13mm), and using the flip-out diffuser for even more light dispersion...

And the gear - a Pentax K3 wearing Sigma 28-70 2.8 set at 70mm (105mm equivalent), f2.8, 160th, ISO100 - pretty much in the position shown in the photo below - hand held...


At the 'top' of this photo the light is coming from a large window...

Basically I shot without the flash to determine the ambient light level I wanted to get the camera settings locked down... then I setup the flash and started at the lowest setting intending to work up until I liked the balance - but I ended up liking the settings I started with (as listed above)...

I did then play with clarity a bit in post to maximize the smoke - that slider was a great help in getting that smoke to really POP!

And that's it - basic APS-C camera wearing an older-ish (that I bought second hand) lens and using off camera (manual - not using TTL) flash... in my dining room... during the day... while my son worked on one of his personal projects on the same table...

Not a lot of space... (part of my dining room table)

No high-end gear... (one camera, one flash unit and a cheap manual flash trigger)

No special location... (again, my dining room - near a window - during the day)

Just a vision and some determination...

The moral:
The best gear is the gear in your hand...
It's not the gear that makes the shot... it's you... it's always you...
YOU are the most important part of every photo...
So go out and SHOOT! ;)










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