Friday, March 21, 2014

365 days of photography: March (part1) , 2014 - How to capture steam in natural light.

In January some of my friends and me started a photography challenge,  to shoot one image a day.  It’s been a very rewarding experience! There are always days when  I am out of creative juice and I run a blank…I skip and shoot the next day or the next. Creativity cannot be forced and I am never hard on myself ( being the lazy procrastinator I am ;)), that does not mean I do not push myself, I am my worst critic. 

If you want to view images from previous months, click on the links below. 

#HowToCaptureSteam #Photography #FoodPhotography #SteamPhotograph
March1, 2014 : one of my favorite steam swirls 

In the course of my journey of 365 days of photography, a few of my friends asked me to do some posts on food photography. I frankly had no idea what to write,  I am quite a novice in this field. After a lot of push and some introspection, I finally took the plunge in my last post. Thanks for helping me with these posts, thanks for all the queries and inputs. 

Before I move on to Shutter, ISO and White Balance. I have been asked consistently time and again how do you capture steam? There is really no magic or special technique, a few things help and most often it is one in 20 to 30 images that has the perfect steam. Steam not only adds a movement to the image it makes it warm and welcoming. It’s so magical. Some of the things that help me while shooting steam.

- Very hot beverage ( reheated several times during the course of the shoot ) 
- Dark background, try to keep it plain
- Backlight is the best to capture steam, side light does wonders too. A combination of both can be perfect. (You can see in the set up below a back and a side window).
- Keeps the colors a warm tone.
- If you have a window keep it open a whee bit to have a small draft of cold air. I have kept the window very slightly open ( cold outside) to create a mild draft of air and to help condensation. 

#HowToCaptureSteam #Photography #FoodPhotography #SteamPhotograph
I keep the set completely ready, camera on with the desired aperture and shutter settings. Bring the hot beverage and shoot. You have to be faster than the steam and anticipate the shapes it might form and hit the shutter right before you feel a whip of beautiful stem will be generated. It takes a bit of practice and it is a bit like modern art, you never know what you will capture and if you are patient you will be generously rewarded. 
March2, 2014 fresh pears on a muted dull surface
I know I was planning to do a post today on shutter, ISO and WB… I think it will be too much for one post. I think I should talk about it in my next post. Let me know if you have any other queries or inputs will be happy to address it and if it is beyond my scope, I can always ask one of my food photographer friends to do a write up for me. 

Am really looking forward to some green post (read spring) and can’t wait to get out there and capture it…

March 3, 2014 more pears

March4, 2014 Somehow an apple does not look as appealing as a pear.

March5, 2014 - the bitter cold continues 

March6, 2014 my experiment with ISO and low light

#HowToCaptureSteam #Photography #FoodPhotography #SteamPhotography
March7, 2014 more steaming chai

March8, 2014 not all steam shots are awesome, look at this failed one

March9, 2014 Pages, light and shadow

March10, 2014 golden hour 

March11, 2014 crisscross lines of snow 

March12, 2014 Trying out my new telephoto 

March13, 2014 I love this board, loved creating this prop 

March14, 2014 something magical about egg shells

table top photography
March15, 2014 trying my hand at still life 

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  1. This is great! I love your food photography posts. I'm just getting started with a DSLR, and all your photos are so inspiring!

  2. Beautiful clicks, Simi.
    Did you put the camera set up at tv, or manual when shooting the steam?

    1. Angie, thanks! used a tripod and yes manual setting.

  3. I actually wanted to ask you about photographing steam. Thank you so much for the tutorial. I have tried photographing steam a number of times with different lighting and set ups but never succeeded. I guess I will have to be more patient

  4. Astonishing, unique and unusual images !

  5. Such beautiful snaps...loved viewing each one of them.

  6. Brilliant project and brilliant photo Simi. I think that taking photos even when we feel washed out of creativity can do us a favour, often it makes us do something less usual. I should really take more photos, I feel I haven't progress to much lately and I always blame it on time, but that's not an excuse ;)
    I can't wait to see more your photography posts.

  7. This is another post of you, I am going to bookmark. :) You are inspiration Simi :)

  8. This is great, Simi! Will try it out soon. Unfortunately, no part of the house has both side and back light but let's see what I can manage with side :) Thanks for the tutorial.


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