How to photograph smoke

34 stunning images of smoke taken by Graham Jefferey made rumours around the world of photography. To get the best possible smoke to work with, Graham uses simple incense sticks known as Joss sticks, which can be purchased from most Chinese supermarkets and in every Chinatown anywhere in the world. Alternatively, any reasonably large incense stick should do the trick. Once youve got the smoke, the rest is all down to freezing the motion, and getting the lighting right. “In my opinion,” explains Graham, “the key technical factor is to adequately light the smoke so that it stands out from the background.” “I want clean lines and shapes”, Graham explains. To do this, he shoots with a lot of light at a small aperture (and thereby a deeper depth of field). “This is very much easier to do if the smoke is allowed to rise naturally.” Once youre taking photos, … Read more

Appetite for Abstract Nature

Abstract nature art is now generally understood to mean art that does not depict objects in the natural world, but instead uses colour and form in a non-representational way. Abstraction is based on sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking. But its a missconcept to believe that nature can not offer abstractions without human touch. The easiest way of understanding is by following this example: Look at a tree in a way you usually do and your first thought will probably be the so called “lonely tree” theme for your shoot. But then look again at the details of the tree: the patterns of the leaves, the texture of the tree stamp, sometimes the shape of the roots. Once you look only at the picture of such parts of a tree, you begin to understand what an interesting network of colours and shapes you got. Eye caching, is it not? Other nature … Read more

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