It’s time for a technique challenge! I had so much fun photographing smoke for my photo in Week 2 that I wanted to make it a challenge for everyone. Feel free to be as creative as you’d like as long as there is smoke, steam or vapor in the image. You can go abstract (like the sample images below) or include it as part of a larger composition.
Here are some ideas for generating some smoke, steam or vapor that will stick around so that you can practice capturing it:
- Incense (beautiful smoke)
- Essential oil diffuser (vapor)
- Ultrasonic humidifier
Certainly you can try boiling water in a cup as well, but the steam dissipates fairly quickly so you might want to try one of the options above.
Incense will be easiest to capture and creates more defined lines:
However, an essential oil diffuser is certainly possible:
To successfully capture smoke, steam or vapor, the trick is to backlight it. In the photo below (taken with my phone), I set my essential oil diffuser in the sun and put a black foam core board behind it. (If you don’t have sun in the forecast, you can also use a strong flashlight if you don’t have flash units for your camera.) Be prepared to take a lot of photos. Not only will you want to experiment with camera settings, but the randomness of the smoke, steam and vapor means that you will most likely need to take a lot of photos before you get something you like. (In other words, don’t feel like you are a bad photographer just because you need to take a whole bunch of photos. It’s all part of this technique!)
Here are some links for you to peruse to learn the technique for capturing smoke, steam or vapor:
Also, please remember to comment on at least FIVE photo submissions this week by answering the question “why?” in your comments. In other words, “why do I like (or not like) this photo?” or “why did this photo catch my eye?” I’ve loved seeing all of the interaction in the Facebook group the past couple of weeks. Thank you!
The friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:
- Take a new photo for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
- Post your photo each week to our active communities on Facebook or Flickr (or both). Tag the photo: #2019photochallenge #photochallenge #tempusaura
- Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2019 Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge is fun and easy.