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Smoke Tendrils shim John & Kristie

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projects :: Thursday, February 9, 2006
Smoke Tendrils
FREMONT, SEATTLE, WA :: It's amazing what you can do with a couple sticks of incense and a few lights! You're looking at photos of smoke tendrils, colored with a blueish bulb and two bright spotlights. This was a fun project, inspired by photos on c h r o m a s i a and Sensitive Light.

It took a while to get the setup just right. I used a black piece of posterboard for the background and aimed the lights onto the smoke from either side, being careful not to brighten the rest of the room. It was a very dim scene, but I managed to freeze the smoke at 1/200 secs at f/2.0 with the 50mm lens. The ISO was set at 100 to minimize noise in the dark areas. I tried using the flash, but firing it from the front washed out the details. An off-camera shoe cord would have been handy.

I'm pleased with the way the images turned out. Watching the bright smoke twirl in the viewfinder was a treat, and I must have fired a few hundred shots to get these select photos. In them, I see alien creatures, strange plants, a ghostly dagger and icy nebulas. What do you see?

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on Thursday, February 9, 2006 at 10:30 PM

Cool Stuff! Do you ever frame any of your pictures?

on Friday, February 10, 2006 at 4:42 AM

These are fabulous. I was wondering what effect it has if you rotate the image 90 or 180 degrees? I like the dagger one.

on Friday, February 10, 2006 at 12:10 PM

Thanks, guys!

I've given a few dozen framed prints away as gifts to family, and several to Kristie to hang in her offices.

I have some prints in my office, but they're just thumbtacked to the walls. Frames and matt boards are too pricey.

Matt, the "dagger" and the photo below are the only images I rotated. They're actually upside down. I did try rotating, inverting and coloring the others, but in the end, I liked them best in their original orientation and colors. The links to the other websites in my post show off some other ways of rendering the smoke. 'Cool stuff from people much more talented than me.


on Sunday, February 12, 2006 at 10:41 PM

I see dead people.

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