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Using smoke in a photoshoot is cool, it really adds some extra “oempf” to a shot, and it helps to mask uninteresting backgrounds of course.
When you start adding color to the smoke shot I always feel the shots are extra special.
In these shots I used a standard (cheap) smoke machine and one strobe with a red gel, as you can see I shoot under an almost straight angle into the light source. Because of the way smoke behaves you get a beautiful effect, adding a bit of Intensify pro from MacPhun (you can also use Topaz clarity of course or NIK tonal contrast) really finishes the shot.
During our stay in New York for the Ultimate workshop weekend I did not have a lot of free time, but I still tried to squeeze in some extra time for some street photography because let’s be honest in New York it’s amazing to shoot this kind of stuff.
Today some of my results.
I wish I had some more time but it is as it is
One of the things a lot of people ask me is “how to get instant WOW effects in street photography”
My first answer is always “there is no this will always work solution”.
You will always have to look for the story, the setting etc. but one of the things that will indeed come close to a certain WOW effect (at least for me) is using backlights. During our trip in New York I shot these shots just before sunset.
The difference between strobes and natural light.
I always tell my students during workshops that when they are shooting with strobes they should always also shoot some images with natural light, this way you can deliver many different looks from the same location to your client.
During the workshops in New York I shot this example which I like to share with you guys.
The first image is without strobes.
To meter this correctly I metered (incident) in front of the models face to get a proper exposure on the face, this meant that the windows would blow out to pure white, in the final tinting I toned down the highlights slightly for a more vintage look.
Often photographers will try to find the light behind the photographer to get some light on the subjects. However one of the most interesting things that I love to do is finding that high contrast situation where you are actually shooting straight into the sun.
You can of course use objects to block the sun, or let it just “creep through”. So the next time you’re shooting on the street, don’t be afraid to shoot straight into the sun, or include it in the frame, I think you will be surprised
I always love to include people to get some cool silhouette effects.