My second smoke photography post, aka ‘Smotography’. Soon after I began taking the shots of the smoke swirls from incense sticks, I started to think that there must me some faces or subjects in the smoke, the same way you might see in the clouds.
Instead of watching the smoke through the viewfinder of my camera, I set up my remote trigger and sat next to my camera whilst watching the smoke, I attempted to take a shot when ever I thought I could see something interesting. I checked the back of the camera often and even rotated it to try and make sense of some of the shapes I had captured. I blew the smoke gently to make different patterns, I used static from a balloon rubbed on my hair to attract the smoke in certain directions, I wafted it, tried to make swirls manually and even moved the incense stick around in the frame to get some trails of patterns before pressing the shutter. Hundreds of images later and I was still shooting, I put some gels on the flashes at one point but then removed them and thought of just colouring the smoke during the post processing stage.
After a good few hours of taking photo’s my legs were pretty cramped up from sitting on the floor, and it was time to transfer the shots to the computer and time for me to make a well needed cup of coffee.
I wanted to keep the processing simple, so opted to just use the Dodge and Burn tool as well as the eraser tool in PS to tidy up any stray bits and create an image. A lot of the work has already been created by the smoke, In most of the images posted here, there’s just a few tiny bits of stray smoke taken out. Maybe you can’t see what I see, maybe you can, maybe you just see the smoke?
I shall leave you to your thoughts and perhaps you’d like to share what you see.
You can contain me or set me wild, you can guide me but not control me. I am random. I am smoke.
Yeah that’s where I’ve been so if you are a follower of my blog, I apologise for my absence. Ive had a lot of stuff on, and not all of it has involved photography but I’ve been mainly shooting festivals. The summer months are full of music coming from every corner of the earth as festival season gets under way. In London and UK, there are counltess.
I was honoured to be awarded ambassador photographer for the Greenwich and Docklands festival after an image I took at the 2014 festival was selected as the winning image by Award.io . An 8 day event which ran from 20th to 28th June. Consisting of a variety of performers, street artists, dancers and musicians. I worked mainly at the full day events including the opening and closing ceremonies.
Acts including Muare, Nimbre, Opus II among the many others, were my personal favourites. A spectacular event and totally free to attend, GDIF is one of the best London Festivals and it is sure to continue to flourish and improve with each year.
Definitley worth checking out and I’m excited to see what next year brings. For more information check out http://www.festival.org/
Just a small selection of my favourite images from Greenwich and Docklands International Festival 2015.
After a recent post to Facebook, I was asked if I could do a tutorial on how I captured the image below.
A very easy shot if you have the equipment so here’s what was used and how it was captured.
Equipment: Nikon D90. Nikon 18-70mm (wide angle) lens. 3 Yongnuo 500ex II speedlights. 1 blue gel, Tripod.
I filled a balloon with water and placed it on an old table outdoors. I then balanced the toy ducks on the balloon. To burst the balloon, I used a pin cellotaped to a wooden spoon handle.
Here’s a diagram of the scene/setup.
The flash freezes any movement so the ones pointing at the subject should be set somewhere between 1/32 and 1/28 power. I set my shutter speed to 1/160 sec (max flash sync speed on a Nikon D90) dialed in the settings shown above and took a test shot to make sure the exposure was OK. NOTE: the blue ‘gel’ used on the flash pointed at the white wall is just a simple sweet wrapper!!
Once you are happy with the exposure, it’s time to burst the balloon. It’s also a good idea to keep the object you use out of shot as it will also get captured by the camera. For this shot the balloon was burst from at the bottom from the front, you can just see it in the final shot. It’s probably wise to keep a few filled balloons handy as you probably won’t get it right first time. Sometimes a bigger splash is captured or as in this case, I just managed to catch the bursting action a split second after the pin made contact with the balloon.
Experimenting is key, try to fill the balloons differently for more or less dramatic explosions, place different objects on or even in the balloon if you can. keep your equipment dry by covering flashes etc with clear plastic bags and have a towel handy for obvious reasons. Above all have fun and you can share your images with me on my Facebook Page/Dave Flynn Photography.
Yesterday St Patrick’s Day celebrations kicked off in London. Although being Irish myself and having lived in the UK for 26 years, I’d never been to the Irish celebration in London. The weather was amazing, glorious sunshine the whole day. I took my camera and limited myself to one lens so decided on my Nikon 18-70mm. Here’s how the day went in Pictures.
It was just another of my spur of thought moments. To create something pancake related. I had no idea what I was going to do until I positioned the camera and saw the scene through the viewfinder. It was another lightbulb moment and I could see the pancakes splattered all over the place with my son in the scene. I just use one pancake so after I positioned it each time I took a photo. My son was brilliant and got what I was trying to capture so after just 5 or 6 shots of him, I had the one I needed. The pancake had to be in the air when he tossed it. I then merged all 19 images in photoshop and brought out the detail during the editing process.
I happened to be watching #LooseWomen today on ITV and they asked for viewers to send in their pancake photos. I sent mine in and was delighted when it was aired. http://www.itv.com/loosewomen
With the recent floods here in the UK, thoughts of boats sprang to mind so I had to think of a concept using the paper ones I used to make as a child. It was raining heavily outside and the initial plan was to catch rain on the window behind the scene but by they time I had set it up, the Sun had come out and dried the droplets off the glass. Nonetheless, I continued with my vision.
I’ve dreamed a million daydreams, of fantasy and fright. I’ve read a thousand quick tips because my brain can’t take too much at once. I learn by doing, I never liked school and never done anything whilst there so didn’t learn. Why, because they weren’t doing anything I was interested in. During class my mind would drift off into random thoughts of dreams and nonsense, well it seemed like nonsense until I learned to use it, because it interested me. I used to make collages from the characters in history and English books, I’d stick them into landscape images in my geography books and create imaginary worlds. No one paid attention to it, it was just ‘my thing’.
I had a retail job eventually, and amongst the computer tech-ery we also had books on photoshop for sale. I began to read. I saw manipulated images and how to’s on the pages…. I bought Photoshop 5.2
There was information online, although scarce; on getting the best from this ‘App’ as the internet was new. I gathered what I could from the books and tutorials I came across and made notes as I practiced the art of digital creativity. I found what was missing in my younger years and I was hooked.
I ended up creating ‘sigs’ (forum signature banners) for members of gaming forums. My work was becoming more and more popular as requests for new designs came in. I was doing what I loved without payment but it got me a fan base.
Things happened in my personal life and I kept away from the forums and design. I lost motivation and struggled to keep myself occupied.
One day I saw an amazing photograph. A spark ignited and I discovered a new path. Another process of learning, reading, watching and listening had begun and almost 4 years later I am still in love with creativity, only this time I can capture it instantly. The learning continues, I’m inspired by other creatives, regardless of their field.
This pushes me to try new things, dream new dreams, and share my thoughts with the world through my images. I have learned to use the tools I have, without worrying about the tools I don’t. I am a Creative.