Learn by Doing Photography – Practice your photography skills with weekly photography assignments. I will post a new assignment every Friday, you can post your pictures at the bottom of this post or on the DigitalCamFan Facebook. If you have any questions please refer to the guidelines, if you have no questions jump right in any time!
Learn by Doing Photography Assignment #9 – Seeing the Steam
I was thinking about what to do this week and wanted to try something totally different. Has anyone tried to photograph steam before. Sounds pretty easy, right. Well it’s not! The light has to be positioned just right to see the steam in the photograph.
This is a great exercise in light. You really have to position your light sources in the correct position to see the steam. Every picture you take where there is no steam or the light is too harsh on the cup is one more step closer to seeing not only the steam, but the light!
How to Photograph Steam:
First I watched the YouTube Video by LearnMyShot, excellent tips! Of course I don’t own everything he does so this is what I set the table up with. In the background I have two chairs with a black sheet over them for the background. I used the two Cowboy Studio Photography Table Tops Studio Lights you see on the kitchen table. I had all the lights off in the kitchen except for those two lights. The light on the right positioned away from the cup so it didn’t get the harsh direct light. The other light, the one sitting behind the cup I held while I stood behind the chairs.
The camera was set up on a tripod and I used a remote flash from where I was standing. Then I took picture after picture after picture trying to get the light to line up exactly with the steam. It’s just plain water in the cup, I had a pot of boiling water on the stove. Every couple minutes I would dump the water back in the pot of water and fill it up with the hot steaming cup.
After all was done I had some fun editing in Lightroom to create the black and white image above. Both photos below are straight from the camera.
Steam Settings – Shutter 1/60 sec at f/3.5 ISO 640
I would recommend watching this video first, Robert Grant does a great job explaining the process! Notice where he positioned the light to capture the steam!
Next Week Learn by Doing Assignment #10 – Seeing the world in Black and White!