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Siblings | by gfpeck
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Not a combined image.


Separate curves adjustments for the flame and the smoke helix.


Some more detail on how I captured the smoke. After playing with some wooded matches and watching how/when the smoke formed when the match went out, I noticed that the smoke looked best against a dark background and with light coming in directly at the side. In the garage I set up the tripod at its lowest setting and placed a small (2”x3”) piece of metal on the top. This was to be my burning pad. I placed a piece of black foam core about a foot behind the tripod. This setup was situated so that the mid morning sunlight was streaming in through a doorway and perpendicular to the camera (parallel to the foam core). I practiced with just setting the lit match on the burn pad and waiting for the flame to go out. I got some nice smoke shapes, but wanted more and for a longer time. I tried various items (piece of plastic, twisted paper towel, small wigs) but the best seemed to be chunks of burning twine placed on pieces of damp paper towel. The hardest part was capturing what I had created. I ended up using all manual settings and a mixture of manual and auto focusing. The biggest improvement to the shots took place when adjusting the curves in PP. This really helped make the lines and curls stand out.

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Taken on June 21, 2009