how I use categories on chromasia

All the entries on chromasia are placed into one of seven primary categories: six to reflect the aspect ratio of the image, and the seventh to indicate that an image isn’t available as a print. Additionally, each photograph may be assigned to one of more additional categories or subcategories, e.g. my travel category, children category, and so on.

about the ‘abstract [smoke]’ category

This is a subcategory of the ‘abstract’ category.

19 April, 2007 // jimi hendrix32 comments

Update: I had hoped to find some time to shoot some new material today, but it didn't happen ... and nor did the birth of our daughter. She was expected on Monday, so is now four days behind schedule, and still shows no signs of arriving any time soon.

On which note: if there are a few thousand of you out there who believe in the power of positive thinking, now would be a good time to use it to start Libby's labour – preferably some time during the next 24 hours, but any time over the weekend would do :-)

--- original entry follows ---

This is the second smoke shot I mentioned yesterday, and I much prefer this one.

A couple of people asked how these are done so, if you're interested, take a look at my description for this shot where I explained the basic process.

What I didn't mention in my previous description is that I use a rather odd curve to adjust these images. Rather than a standard S curve, these use a slightly cursive V curve as follows:

    

What this does is remap the blacks to white, the mid-tones to black, and the highlights remain as highlights. And if that doesn't make sense, just try it. It takes a bit of tweaking to get it right, but it's an interesting effect.

Oh, and the title was my choice this time, though I won't be in the least offended if nobody else thinks that this one looks like a psychedelic guitarist ;-)

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9.37pm on 17/4/07
Canon 5D
EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
f/18.0
1/50
manual
n/a
evaluative
100
580EX and 420EX
RAW
C1 Pro
1x1
  
1x1 + abstract [smoke]
18 April, 2007 // steven king25 comments

First of all: there's still no news regarding the baby. She's now two days late, and there are no signs that she intends to arrive any time soon. I guess she'll be here soon enough though.

As for this one: it's been a while since I posted any smoke shots, and this is the first of two that I'm reasonably pleased with. This one is Libby's favourite and I prefer tomorrow's.

Oh, and in case you're wondering about the title: it was Libby's idea. Well, she said that it looked like a poster for one of his films, and I couldn't think of anything else to call it.

captured
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9.38pm on 17/4/07
Canon 5D
EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
f/18.0
1/50
manual
n/a
evaluative
100
580EX and 420EX
RAW
C1 Pro
1x1
  
1x1 + abstract [smoke]
15 October, 2006 // the movement of light #337 comments

At the risk of boring you all, here's one more of my recent smoke shots, and while I still think that yesterday's is my favourite of the three, this one comes a close second.

Tomorrow, assuming I manage to shoot anything worth sharing, I'll put something different up.

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9.58pm on 12/10/06
Canon 20D
EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
f/16.0
1/30
manual
n/a
evaluative
100
580EX
RAW
C1 Pro
1x1
  
1x1 + abstract [smoke]
14 October, 2006 // the movement of light #241 comments

Yesterday, I mentioned that I had two shots of this type that I liked and that neither of them were perfect. Well, I've ditched the one I intended to put up in favour of this one, which is as near perfect as I think this type of shot gets. You're quite free to disagree with me, but this one is exactly the type of image I was after: lots of detail, razor sharp (unlike yesterday's, which was a bit soft), and interesting colours and tones.

A few of you asked how these are done:

  1. set up a source of smoke in between the camera and a dark background. I used a joss stick.
  2. light the scene from the side. I used my 580EX as the main source of illumination for this one, triggered using an ST-E2 transmitter.
  3. set the exposure accordingly. I used a manual setting of f/16.0 for this shot coupled with a shutter speed of 1/30. From what I've read, if you're using a source of illumination other than flash, you probably need a shutter speed of 1/125 or above. You also need to be careful to pre-focus. I had the camera about 3 feet from the smoke for this one and even with an aperture of f/16.0 the DoF is only 1" deep.
  4. take a lot of shots. I took over three hundred to get these two. There were a couple more that were ok, but only two I was really happy with.

As for the processing:

  1. invert the image. This makes the background white rather than black.
  2. adjust the overall contrast using a Curve.
  3. tone the smoke using a Curve, Hue/Saturation, or similar.
  4. use Noise Ninja or other noise reduction software as appropriate.

And that's about it. Let me know what you think.

captured
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9.43pm on 12/10/06
Canon 20D
EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
f/16.0
1/30
manual
n/a
evaluative
100
580EX
RAW
C1 Pro
1x1
13 October, 2006 // the movement of light #143 comments

This is the first of two abstract pieces, neither of which are perfect, but both of which I like. And before anyone mentions CGI or vector graphics, they are relatively straight photographs. As for what and how: I'll post more details tomorrow.

captured
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9.37pm on 12/10/06
Canon 20D
EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
f/16.0
1/30
manual
n/a
evaluative
100
no
RAW
C1 Pro
minor
  
3x2 + abstract [smoke]
12 January, 2006 // chaos theory #266 comments

Thanks for all the comments on yesterday's entry, they're much appreciated.

As for how this is done, basically I just followed the instructions on Graham Jeffery's about page:

  1. set up a source of smoke in between the camera and a dark background. I used a joss stick.
  2. light the scene from the side. I used a halogen table lamp for a modelling light and my flash on an off-camera cord as the main source of illumination.
  3. set the exposure accordingly. I used a manual setting of f/8.0 for this shot coupled with a shutter speed of 1/60. From what I've read, if you're using a source of illumination other than flash, you probably need a shutter speed of 1/125 or above.
  4. take hundreds of pictures because it's difficult to work out exactly how they're going to turn out ;-)

As far as post-processing goes: both this shot and yesterday's were inverted in Photoshop to give a white background. I guess you could always shoot against a white background in the first place, but I suspect it would be much more difficult to see the smoke.

And that's about it other than to say that yesterday's was colourised and today's was left pretty much as is, other than the application of a rather odd Curve to compensate for the fact that the original was marginally overexposed.

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10.11pm on 11/1/06
Canon 20D
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
40mm (64mm equiv.)
f/8.0
1/60
manual
n/a
evaluative
100
580EX
RAW
C1 Pro
no
  
3x2 + abstract [smoke]
11 January, 2006 // chaos theory68 comments

Apologies for the lateness of today's entry, but I was stuck at work till around 8pm and then found that this shot took way longer to get right than I anticipated.

Some of you will be familiar with this style/type of shot, but as some of you may not have seen it before I'll hold off explaining until later.

captured
camera
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exposure bias
metering mode
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RAW converter
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9.59pm on 11/1/06
Canon 20D
EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
f/11.0
1/60
manual
n/a
evaluative
100
580EX
RAW
C1 Pro
1x1
  
1x1 + abstract [smoke]
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