Monday, May 7, 2007

Colored Smoke How-To

This isn't the greatest example ever, see Jameela's Flickr site to see some better smoke photos, but here's how you achieve the effect:

You need:
  • Any camera in any mode (having your flash on is recomended, though)
  • Something non-reflective and black to use as a background
  • Incense (to create the smoke)
  • A light source (I used my Canon 30D's on-camera flash and the darkness of my backyard as my light source and background, and it resulted in a kindof flat photo in comparison to Jameela's which was taken indoors with a light source in addition to her on-camera flash).
What to do:
  • Set up the incense infront of the black background
  • Take tons of photos being careful that autofocus isn't focusing on the background rather than the smoke and that your shutter speed is high enough that the smoke isn't blurry)
  • Download your images to your computer and open one of the "good ones" in an image editing program of your choice.
  • Find the "Invert" option. This will invert the colors, giving you the white background.
  • There are many different ways to create the colored smoke. Gimp has a "Colorize" tool, saturation adjustments can help too, experiment to find what works for you.

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