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Photograph Atmosphere

Lesson 6 from: FAST CLASS: Creative Composites Using Your Own Photo Stock

Karen Alsop

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Lesson Info

Photograph Atmosphere

I'm gonna show you some tricks today. I've got atmosphere aerosol, this is a little atmosphere and it can, you can get lots of different brands of this and I am going to spray this and see what happens with the light. So you can see as soon as I spray it you can see that white come out and then it just starts to sit in the air and if I have particular directional lights on, so I can control where that light and that atmosphere sits. So I'm going to show you photographing this, showing different lighting techniques and then we're going to photograph some steam coming out of a kettle. So I pulled my black back drop down and it is a velvet backdrop. If you have a shiny paper backdrop, it doesn't work quite as well. The great thing about the velvet is that it sucks the light in so you won't see dirt and dust on the velvet, but you'll see what's in front of it. Now, the other thing that you can see in my studio here is currently, I have the four lights on the lights behind me which are Boto...

x lights. The continuous lights, I use them for photography as well as video and they are set up with a strip modifier, which is really good at controlling the light so it doesn't spill into the camera and it creates a good back light or rim light but it also works well for this. Now, I also have big soft boxes in front of me and what I'm going to do for this exercise is to turn them down a little bit. Now you can play with where the light comes from and it will create a different look, but the more light that you have coming from in front hitting the backdrop, the less you'll be able to take that out. So take any light that's on the back drop out later. So it actually does help to have more backlight then front light when you're doing this. Alright, let's get started. Alright, the first thing that we need to do to set up for photographing atmosphere is to work out our camera settings and our focal point. The next thing I'm going to do is I'm going to use my shutter release cable. I'm going to come around the front and I'm going to position myself where I want to spray the atmosphere and I am going to pre focus, take a shot and then lock this down on the menu. So now when I photograph my atmosphere I will shoot the atmosphere in that same spot and the atmosphere will be in focus. I don't want the background to be in focus. It's too far back. All right now, in terms of my settings, what I'm looking at is making sure that my shutter speed is where I want it because that will affect how the atmosphere looks. So I am set on 100th of a second now, the faster my shutter speed, the more frozen those elements in the atmosphere is so I can adjust that as I need to. It all depends on the atmosphere and what sort of effect that you're wanting. Now the aperture really should be F5 or even narrower so that you can make sure that the atmosphere that's closer and the atmosphere that is further away both are in focus. So I've got it on F5 because I'm using continuous lights. Now, if you're using strobes you can actually push that further. The same technique with the strobes as it is with the continuous lights I'm demonstrating with continuous lights because it's much more visually understandable. But you could set up your strobes to capture capture atmosphere as well with the same principle in place. Now I want the black background, that velvet background that sucks in the light. I don't want to see it any of the grays in it. So if I change my eyes so up you can see all of the detail and the dirt on that backdrop. When it's at S. 0. 5000, I will dial this back until my black backdrop is black and the green around which I know is something that I would like to expose for is correct. So I know that any atmosphere that I spray in front of this black backdrop will show up but the black itself will stay black. Alright now I've pulled these lights down a little bit so they're not as bright because we're going to use the light that is behind to really light that atmosphere. So the next thing that I'm going to do is photograph the atmosphere and I'm going to use the shutter release cable so I have flexibility event on where I stand, I am going to get my atmosphere aerosol and okay, I am going to spray this where I had my head so I'm spraying into that area, let a little bit sit. Mhm. Here we go. Now, if I review these images you can see, I've got a lot of different looks and different atmosphere that I can use. If I zoom up on this atmosphere, you can see all of the detail. The haziness is a little bit blurred because of the shutter speed. So if you wanted to have crisper areas you could go faster shutter speed. So the kettle is simply filled with water and is about to boil and as that steam comes up, that's going to create a really interesting effect with steam coming up and spreading. Now you can see it's traveling quite fast so I'm going to change my settings to capture that steam a little more frozen than what I did. The atmosphere spray that didn't travel as fast. So let's change our shadow speed too. 400th of a second. I'll change my I s o up to compensate, put this on boil again and see what the difference is in capturing this with a little bit of a faster shutter speed. Alright, so we'll review the images and zoom up now. It doesn't matter that I've got green and lights and everything at the edges of my shot because I'm simply going to crop those out and it does help me to have a reference of what I was photographing. So let's turn this cattle on. We are going to now photograph this at 400th of a second, take quite a few shots. So we've got a variety of steam as it tones down. It's a little more subtle and then we review now it might not look really bright on the shot, but we can pull that up in Photoshop and in camera or later.

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