Year Two (25) – Smoke and Lighting

Today’s challenge at the Old Bakery today was to work with smoke and lighting. Karen did a fantastic set up which involved so lettering laser cut out of some acrylic, which was then back lit and with smoke side lit added. An experiment with filters controlling the colour of the light.


The top image is just lit with one flash from behind with gels on the flash although the light has leaked through slightly, but I like the contrast… the 2nd has smoke added with a smoke machine behind as is a slightly wider angle – Karen had a great idea of using clips to hold the acrylic in place – and with a blue gels on the flash which is bouncing on the white acrylic… and my final shot with smoke in front – cropped in closer.

Smoke, Models and Lighting types

The next group of images are purely reference shots – the shot was not for me, coming into someone else’s set up with not enough preparation, meant I knew I wanted be able to get the shots I wanted so I did not really try. I have gone on about details and the details were just so bad in these I nearly did not bother …

We were indoors with a fab woodland studio background which unfortunately was really creased and the crease lines showed through – it really needed hanging for a few days to drop the creases out, we had a fog machine which was run through ice to try and keep the fog low and we had a model (a friend of one of the photographers) in a wedding dress … the wedding dress was really pretty but was full of creases – it so badly needed ironing… that I was frustrated before I picked up the camera.

We had two lighting set ups – studio lights and flash lights, both working independently to create different looks.

Flash lighting with blue gels – ISO100, F4.5, 1/160sec
Flash lighting with blue gels –


Atmosphere image – ISO100, F5.6, 1/160sec
Studio Lighting – much brighter – ISO100, F7.1, 1/160sec
Soften in photoshop – ISO100, F7.1, 1/160sec

The only interesting element to take away from these images is the effect of light – the settings are very similar for the flash and strobe set up. The flash light was much lower power, did not light up the background as much and with the gels and the alternated white balance added atmosphere – at time the lights was harsher too.

The studio strobes were much brighten, created a totally different style of images and showed up even more creases – photography is all about the details… this was a useful exercise in lighting, but highlights once again the importance of good shoot preparation which the first set up achieved brilliantly.