Photographing Cigaratte smoke

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by alexknudsen, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. alexknudsen

    alexknudsen TPF Noob!

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    I am a high school photography student, and I'm doing a project on Film Noir stills. I want to make photographs look like they are on the set of a 1940's/50's Noir film. I did some test shots of one of my models today, and I really want the cigarette smoke to show up. My model will be standing against a wall with the cigarette down by her side in her hand. DOes anyone have any suggestions on how to make the smoke really show up?

    Here is a photo that I kinda want it to look like

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. RKW3

    RKW3 TPF Noob!

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    Use external flashes and get creative with the lighting, find out what works best.
     
  3. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I thought I had another example available on photobucket, but apparently not.

    This was taken as a silohuette with the flash firing at the background wall. I have taken other smoke shots using an external flash (forget the on-board). You will have to play around with the flash output, but it can be done.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    BACKLIGHT IT!
     
  5. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Also try soft light above it

    One I did a couple months ago
    [​IMG]

    Just a standard desk lamp was used for this one, The light was well above the surface and directed outward toward the camera and slightly downward.
     
  6. KhronoS

    KhronoS TPF Noob!

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    I agree, there's no better way :)
     
  7. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You definitely need the light to make the smoke visible. If you're having a hard time, try a small piece of incense behind the cigarette. Incense smoke is much thicker and will give you an easier time.

    ED: Also, check out Strobist.com and search for film noir. They did one of their monthly assignments on it and how to make an already hard bare speed light even harder. I took two strips of duct tape and taped it over the head so there was a 3/4" x 2.5" space of fresnel showing where the light could come through.
     
  8. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you are going to back light it... use a black background. ;)
     
  9. alexknudsen

    alexknudsen TPF Noob!

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    yeah I've just acquired a set of 3 500watt studio lights, so I think that will probably do the trick, Im gonna shoot it with my Mamiya c330 and my Nikon D80


    thanks for your help!


    P.S I love the incense idea, and I'm definitiely gonnna backlight it with a black backdrop
     
  10. ... and then dodge it to really bring it out!
     
  11. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Like what garbz and Iron flatline say, backlight and dodge it.

    [​IMG]
     

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