Sarah Galbraith Photography Blog
Sarah Galbraith Photography
Smokin' out the studio
Smoke from an incents cone makes some really interesting designs.

Smoke from an incense cone makes some really interesting designs.

A couple weeks ago I went in and smoked out the studio. The sickly sweet smell of cheap vanilla incense seemed to permeate everything but it make for some cool photos.

First I set the incense on their own platform, set up the Norman strobes because they down have a fan and shot against a black background. Any strobes with a fan will have the smoke flying in all directions and become unrecognizable. Then simply shoot as the smoke dances up and creates and contorts it’s own shapes. The real fun about this is you really have no idea what it will do and it is really fun to watch. I used the smoke to create some interesting photos with a pair of my heels and could only imagine the other ways it can be used.

Playing with the smoke in Photoshop is equally as fun because it is open to any creativity and there really isn’t much of a learning curve to make it look cool. What I did was change the levels, brightness, contrast then invert the photo if you want a white background. I chose to crop the photo down at this point and clean up any wisps of smoke that did I didn’t want in the image. After I had it all cleaned up I adjusted the color curves, hue and saturation. Color can be great… don’t be afraid to experiment. If you want to go a set further grab the liquefy tool to create shapes and imagery within the smoke.

My next couple posts will be from Costa Rica. I am looking forward to sharing some of my travels so make sure to check back for any travel tails, scenic shots and inevitable blunders!

002 smoke in the studio blog

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