- Two packages of holi powder from Amazon.com
- 2x 10lb packs of the cheapest flour. I purchased these at my local grocery store, but you could get them from Amazon.com as well.
- Plastic Ziploc bags
- Dust Pan
- 1 Einstein E640 Strobe with a beauty dish on it + 2 bare portable speed-lights (all of them were on light stands and hooked up to wireless triggers). You could get by with just 1 front-lit speed-light, but 3-4 lights is ideal.
- Broom (to clean up your mess)
- You can dump piles of the colored flour on the dustpan in different areas and then throw it at the model from behind.
- Avoid throwing the powder around the eyes.
- Try to keep the powder/dust away from your camera, as the powder is a very fine. Ideally you would be want to be using a 70-200m lens so you can be further away from the model, but I was using a 24-70mm lens.
- I used Manual Mode and dialed in 1/250" to cut the ambient light, F8 for maximum sharpness, and ISO ~100 for low noise. After that was dialed in on my camera, I adjusted the flash power up and down while taking test shots until it looked well exposed in the preview screen. After I got it looking normally exposed, I just started taking the actual shots, without having to worry about adjusting any exposure/flash settings.
- To help focus in the dark, try to take the images near a constant lighting source. Just shorten the shutterspeed to 1/250" to cut off the ambient light. This way, the only light that will show up in the image is the light from the flashes.
- Remember to shoot in RAW format and then you will be able to increase the Vibrance and Saturation in Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop.
Two more things you should remember:
- If you liked this video, check out my instructional 300 page / 9 Hour video course Trick Photography and Special Effects - it includes lots special effects tutorials you can use in a wide variety of situations, just like this one.
- The new photography course for people getting started in photography in general Photography Masterclass will be released very soon, and at a very special launch discount price - so be sure to sign up on the email list in the side-bar to be notified when it is released so you can grab it while the price is super low.
In this digital photography and Photoshop tutorial, you will learn how to capture a photo using grids and gels on flashes to get the proper lighting. We will then go into Adobe Photoshop software to create the glowing lines and smokey cloud in front of the luminous face. Push the play button on the video player below to start watching the tutorial - I recommend watching it in Full Screen so you can see the text when I am in Adobe Photoshop. If you can't see the video player below, you can watch it directly on YouTube (opens in new tab/window).
This is the newest image I've made with abstract glowing lines.
This was the first image I created that made use geometric abstract glowing lines.
This image was made after the first one; my friend (the model) got the idea to make the original concept above more three-dimensional by taking the shot at an angle. We spent hours in Photoshop making the lines, perfecting the skin, removing harsh shadows, dodging and burning, and making the colors vivid. There is a before-and-after image here.
This one wasn't made with the pen tool to create lines, but instead the reqtangular marquee tool was used to create two rectangles filled with white on two seperate layers, then I deleted portions of the two rectangles and added a glow to match that of its environment (it was a really foggy morning). The original lighting source in the scene was deleted using layer masks.
Equipment used in video:
- LED Lenser X21 Flashlight - This thing is a beast. Extremely reliable and bright. I use it all the time for all sorts of reasons. Definitely worth the investment. The X21 is that it is a continuous lighting solution, not a short burst of light like flashes are. Continuous lighting lengthens motion, flashes freeze motion.
- Nikon D300s DSLR - This is just the camera I use. ANY DSLR can produce the results you see in the video.
- Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 Lens - I use this lens for pretty much all of my work.
- Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with Manfrotto 496RC2 BallHead - Mounting your camera to a tripod is absolutely essential in order to eliminate camera-shake.
- Optional: You can mount the X21 to a tripod by using an X21 tripod mount. When I was outside, I didn't want to lug around two big tripods for both my flashlight and camera, so I conveniently mounted the X21 to the Joby GP8-BHEN Gorillapod Focus with Ballhead X.
Here are the results:
Another idea I got only after it was done snowing would be to take a ~1 second exposure of the on-camera flash in burst mode, where it flashes rapidly multiple times. I'd love to try it at different speeds and show the results, I'm definitely thinking the faster speeds would look best. If you have a camera that has a burst flash mode feature - remember to try this idea and post your image in the PhotoExtremist Flickr Group or on Facebook.
And of course, if you are wondering how the photographs of those flying sparks were created, take a look at my Steel Wool Photography Tutorial and I'll show you how to do it!
Are you tired of taking boring photos of the same mundane subject matter? Wouldn't you rather take your photography to the next level and photograph things that catch people's attention? If you would like to get the complete scoop and learn how to take more creative and unique shots with your DSLR, pick up my Trick Photography and Special Effects e-book and video course today!