Shoot Extra Stock Images
Anytime I'm in a new space, no matter if it is near where I live, just down the street, or in a different country, I always try to get stock images of everything, everything possible. But, the two main things that I like to have stock images of no matter what I'm doing are textures and smoke. Those two things come in more handy than anything else possible. So, what I'm going to do right now is photograph textures and smoke. Both of those things are super handy when it comes to adding atmosphere or mood to your images. If you can add a little bit of texture, maybe in the background of an image, it can really bring everything together with cohesion. It can also make an image look even more photographic, like an old picture, or it can make an image look more painterly. I love paintings, personally, that is my favorite medium, though I don't work in it, for whatever reason, and I love to make my photos look like paintings. It's sort of like a little, personal challenge, and textures help m...
e do that. Textures are anything that you can overlay on an image that has texture, which is super simple, and maybe very obvious, but texture can come from anywhere. It can from a floor, a ceiling, a wall, from a rusty can. It doesn't really matter, as long as it is a solid space, so there's no definite pattern happening, as long as it has interesting texture on it. So, I'm going to walk around here and take a look at what textures I can find and just simply see what works and what doesn't work and I'll walk you through a little bit of what I might consider a photographic texture, something that makes the image look like an old photograph, versus a painterly texture that will make the image look more like a painting. So if we look at this door right here, I thought this was just the absolute perfect thing. We've got a door and it has a couple of things going for it. We've got some, sort of, grungy texture, happening right through here. We have all these splatters, that can be really neat for perhaps, looking like drips in a photograph, which could be really interesting. But, there are lots of scratches, lots of little things that will make this look like an old photograph, or at least that's my hope. So, I'm just going to take one little step back here, adjust my camera settings and photograph up close. I'm going to get it in focus, and there, I've got my first texture, just of this little space on the door and it has to be that simple, there's nothing else to it. There just, get up close, frame it how you want, solid color, texture, flat surface, that's all I'm looking for right now. So, I'm going to get a few more textures, specifically down at the bottom here. I think this is really interesting. So I'm just going to frame this up, make sure that it's in focus and I've got the textures. And I'm just moving my camera around as much as possible so that I'm getting textures from all different spaces. I don't want to get the same texture twice. And you never know how these textures are going to work out. What I've noticed is that scratches like this on the door, they're very, if you can imagine old film, let's say, shot maybe 50 years ago, you can imagine scratches on the film and that makes it look like an old photograph. So, this particular spot right here, will be great for that, for overlaying scratches. But, something like down here, has a lot of drips and it's a little bit more muddied. There aren't any, necessarily, scratches going through it or dense, it's very mixed, and it even looks like paint dripping. Which means that this will probably be a good painterly texture. This is what I use on almost every single image of mine, and I often layer together multiple textures to create a different look. So instead of just taking one texture that I've shot. I'll often take anywhere from two to five textures and mix them together to be able to create one really neat texture. The other thing is that you notice that this door has green and teal on it and I'm not concerned with color here. Color is of no importance, even if it's different colors moving through one texture because I use all of my textures in black and white, so after I get these images I will convert them to black and white and then I can overlay them on any image without messing up the nature color of my original photograph. So, if you imagine, maybe I've taken a picture in this room, I have a model in there, I have props in there, later on I overlay my texture. I wouldn't necessarily want a teal texture to go over that image of my model because that's going to color everything in the scene. So turning it black and white is simply going to allow me to not mess up the, sorry, the color of the original image, but to still retain the texture over top of that image. So I'm going to go around, photograph a few different textures, which are available to download if you get the class and I'm also going to photograph the smoke. So let's see what other textures we can find within this space. (camera clicking) I also really like to find cracks. So when I'm moving around I'm particularly looking for spaces that have cracks, such as right through here because that can be used later on. If I photograph a wall for example, I can make that wall more interesting by adding cracks going through the wall. So I'm very interested in finding very small, tiny spaces with cracks and then utilizing that later. So that's something that I'm looking for. I'm also looking for holes in walls, anything that I can shoot from multiple angles, that maybe if I find a hole in the wall, for example, I can make it look like a hole in the floor, like a really big hole in the floor, even, if that's something that I'm going for. Which it is because I'll be photographing a tree in the room though there won't actually be a tree. So, I'm going to have to photograph a hole somewhere in the floor, or the wall, or the ceiling, and then make it look like a tree is bursting through that hole in this big room. I happened to find a really good hole in the floor in this building, so I'm going to definitely photograph that from multiple angles, but aside from getting cracks and holes in the walls, and things like that, everything else I'm going to shoot straight on flat to the surface that I'm photographing. Now we're going to shoot the smoke that I have with me and these are just little, tiny, smoke emitters, that let off smoke for about 45 seconds and they don't shoot flames or anything like that, you just light it and then it starts to smolder and then all of the smoke comes out. So what I'm doing right now is photographing white smoke on dark background. I didn't exactly have a dark background here so we made one up in this barn. So I'm going to photograph the smoke sitting here with the natural light hitting it from the front, with a naturally dark backdrop and I'm going to make sure when I edit these images that the smoke stands out really beautifully so that we can use these smoke images in any picture that we want. We can just add it in as atmosphere. So essentially we'll be cutting the smoke off of the background, putting it in to whatever image we have and then blending it using what blending it using whatever blending mode works for that particular image. So I'm going to photograph this smoke really quickly and I'm just going to pop out the smoke bombs. We've got these, they look just like that, really tiny, and I'm going to light two of them at the same time, just to make a thicker plume of smoke, and I'm just going to hold them together like this, hold the lighter, right there, at the flame, drop them in this cup, and let them billow. First I'm going to get my settings so that I'm totally ready to just drop them and run. So I'm going to take a few steps back, my goal here is to properly light the front, where the smoke is going to be, and let the back fall off into darkness. So I'm going to get about this far back, maybe, get my focus in general, give a test shot, that looks really good, and I think I'm ready. So I'm just going to set my camera there so that I'm totally ready to go and then I'm going to light the smoke bombs. (camera clicking) Okay, it didn't quite go according to plan because there's a little bit too much wind, so I'm going to wait for the wind to die down so the smoke actually comes up in a plume, but that's not to say that these images are usable, they're just going to be better used as a general fog layer, rather than smoke.