Learn to use a smoke machine as a creative tool by Jay P. Morgan

3/23/2012 ISO 1200 Magazine 3 Comments



In this Slanted Lens lighting tutorial we take a look at using smoke as a creative tool. I'm going to concentrate on using smoke to create a silhouette and to show sun-rays.

When I shoot I often have a smoke machine on hand. When I shoot on location I always have one. Smoke gets me out of trouble if I have a background that needs to be covered up because it is too busy, boring or the wrong time period. It helps me to separate a person from a dark night sky or dark building. Smoke adds atmosphere and texture to the image which brings it to life. This atmosphere and texture add production value to the image for a very reasonable price. Smoke is cheap so use it often and recklessly.

The one problem you will encounter is getting the smoke where you want it in the shot. It is too hard to hide the machine in the shot and direct the smoke exactly where you want it unless you have some sort of ducting system. In this video we show you how to create a cheap ducting system that allows you to have the machine out of the image and duct the smoke right where you need it. Enough chit chat, let's have some fun with smoke.

Keep those cameras rolling and keep on click-in!

PS. I say that we used a Beauty Dish with Grid but it has no grid. FYI

© Jay P. Morgan


By Jay P. Morgan

3 comments:

Thomas William said...

Your tips are very helpful for me and i hope in future you also update us.

May I ask how you power the smoke machine while on location? Power generator, battery pack or some other solution?

Usually with a power generator