Stu Smokes Up - First Try

Discussion in 'General Gallery' started by astrostu, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. astrostu

    astrostu I shoot for the stars

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Boulder, CO, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I've seen some pretty cool smoke shots and thought I'd try my hand at 'em. I went kinda crazy with coloring some of them, but the ones that are just yellow and blue were as-shot from the camera in terms of color -- no alteration by me. The two main things I need to change for next time is to have a much darker and larger back-drop and to have a steadier source for the smoke.

    1. Colorized
    [​IMG]

    2. Original Colors
    [​IMG]

    3. Original Colors
    [​IMG]

    4. Colorized Version of #3
    [​IMG]

    5. Original Colors
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,797
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Southwest Virginia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hi Stu. Don't you love it when 50 people view and no one comments? Me either. Anyway, I've been playing with these A LOT over the past 2 weeks and have learned somethings which may help. First, make sure that you have a good amount light hitting the smoke. You also want to make sure that the light doesn't hit the background by using some sort of gobo or flags (basically a piece of cardboard making an improvised snoot works).

    I use an incense stick to get a steady stream.

    Shoot bunches and delete liberally. Out of 100 shots, 1-2 makes it to processing for me. I tend to look for nice really sharp, crisp images as well as those with an interesting abstract form.

    During the processing in RAW, in PS, I select all the images, turn up the clarity slider as far as it will go, and boost the brightness a little. This helps me make the selection process.

    Some smoke shots are right for a black background during the processing, but others come out so much better when inverted so that you have a white background. From there, you can select the smoke w/ the wand and creatively color the smoke however you want.

    Hope that helps. If you search this forum, I have about current links that have a full tutorial.
     
  3. astrostu

    astrostu I shoot for the stars

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Boulder, CO, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Definitely hate those 50 views and zero replies. Part of the reason I'm looking for other forums now.

    Anyway, yeah, I read your tutorial and based my setup on that. I just need a larger support structure for a larger backdrop - that was the comment there. I ended up lighting the smoke from the side using a light I use for my lightbox, but I had a piece of aluminum foil blocking most of it so that it didn't hit the backdrop. The flash from the other side was a little behind the smoke, facing towards the camera, so I had some flare issues I didn't expect but it avoided illuminating the backdrop as much.

    I took about 40 shots and saved 6 and processed the 4 above. As I said, this was my first try and it was a learning experience. You can write and read tutorials (I've done it myself - my moon guide and general astrophoto guide), but actually doing it is something completely different!

    Oh, and you're saying that you select the smoke to colorize it? That's not a very practical way if you have a black background ... much easier to make a new layer in Photoshop, set the blending mode to "Color," lower the opacity unless you want REALLY vibrant colors, and then color that new layer. Only the color will show through when there is a non-black pixel below it.
     
  4. carlos91

    carlos91 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    miami
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    how do you guys get the soke to have the color?
     
  5. astrostu

    astrostu I shoot for the stars

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Boulder, CO, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Read the last paragraph of my reply above.
     
  6. Mesoam

    Mesoam TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Messages:
    1,120
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    CT
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    its neat but got boring after the second shot, most likely why the views and no comments...
     
  7. LoveAlwaysJami

    LoveAlwaysJami TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Indiana
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I looked at a smoke shot earlier and Ive now fell in love with them, and I love yours as well. I will be learning and posting soon ( but Ill get lots of comments because mine will be bad.. if you want comments post a bad one hahaha )
     
  8. baturn

    baturn TPF Supporters Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Messages:
    5,626
    Likes Received:
    2,103
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'm one of the people who look without posting. I don't post because most of you say you don't want comments like 'nice shot" or " that's crap". I enjoy browsing the forum to learn from you but unless I have constructive comments will continue to keep them to myself. Please don't stop posting on this forum because I have nothhing to say.

    Brian
     

Share This Page