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shirley
13th July 2008, 07:55 AM
Last night I tried taking some smoke trail pictures. I used incense sticks with a black background and then inverted colour in elements. I then tweeked colour and used layers to flip image and create this pic.
Good fun and the house smells nice this morning. Has anybody else tried this? Tips to improve would be gratefully appreciated.
Thank you

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/medium/Double-blue-image-framed.jpg

Graham_of_Rainham
14th July 2008, 03:46 PM
That's almost "insect" like. I have done a number of these, they are great fun. I hadn't thought of "mirroring" one to get the image effect you have, I like the idea a lot.

The only tip I have is once you have inverted the image, erase at that stage all that is distracting from what you want to show.

I personally prefer White on Black but some coloured trails are simply stunning when done well. There is a lot of luck in getting the trails and a lot more art in rendering them.

If this is your first attempt you are doing really well. Look forward to seeing more.

*chr

shirley
14th July 2008, 04:01 PM
That's almost "insect" like. I have done a number of these, they are great fun. I hadn't thought of "mirroring" one to get the image effect you have, I like the idea a lot.

The only tip I have is once you have inverted the image, erase at that stage all that is distracting from what you want to show.

I personally prefer White on Black but some coloured trails are simply stunning when done well. There is a lot of luck in getting the trails and a lot more art in rendering them.

If this is your first attempt you are doing really well. Look forward to seeing more.

*chr

Thanks Graham. Yes it was my first attempt, I think I took over 70 pics with about 5 that had anything useful.
I am not very expert in elements, could you explain what you mean by erasing, do you mean using mask layers? I dont know if I can do that in elements and indeed how. Could you post some of your pics? I would really like to see what you have done.
I think the trick is getting the angle of the flash right so I will keep experimenting.

fulhamphil
14th July 2008, 08:22 PM
Hi Shirley, I think your image looks like something that could be in Dr Who, or it could of been a cover for an early Madonna album, whatever it's very effective and dosen't look like the usual smoke trail images.

Graham_of_Rainham
14th July 2008, 08:39 PM
As you can see from this first shot the image is "cloudy" as there is a lot of residual smoke that drifts back down and catches the light from the flash.

By inverting the image into black on white it is easier to see this and it can be simply erased. The eraser tool can be used like an artist cuts away clay to reveal the shape hidden in side.

Once all the "foggy" edges have be erased then reinvert and play with the contrast settings to achieve the desired effect.

If you download these two images, invert them, you can easily see the edges of the erase tool on the second one (I did it really quick) but in white on black these hardly notice.

Obviously a good selective crop is always needed too as often less is more with these things.

Your absolutely right about the flash position. I tend to lay the flash on it back pointing up from about 30cm below the smoke column and at about 45 degrees to the left of the axis of, and behind, the lens

I also use small josh sticks and work very quickly to avoid a buildup of smoke in the conservatory.

Hope some of this is of use and look forward to a really stunning shot :)

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Smoke_1.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/4809)

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Smoke_2.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/6798)

*chr

shirley
14th July 2008, 08:42 PM
Wow Graham these are lovely. I will have a go but it might be a while until I get to it, but as soon as I do I will post. Thank you so much.

CaptainD
14th July 2008, 08:47 PM
Thanks for the inspiration, I think I wil have a go at this as it looks like great fun. One question though, should I take the batteries out of my smoke detectors first?

Cheers

Chris