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Thread: Needle and Spoon

  1. #1
    KTHXBAI's Avatar
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    Michael Farrand

    Needle and Spoon

    I've been experimenting with smoke photography the last two days. The lighting is tricky and I had a bit of a rough time with it. I'll attempt some more as now I have all this incense... So far this is what I have. Thanks for viewing any CC welcome.

    Needle and Spoon
    Last edited by KTHXBAI; 30th August 2011 at 12:50 AM. Reason: edited for Dizzy

  2. #2
    jiro's Avatar
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    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: Needle and Spoon

    Nice! Great control on the exposure, Michael. I have no idea though what is the relation of the needle to the spoon and the smoke? Just a thought. Personally, I would love to see the spoon having smoke at the bottom and on top as if it is really hot. I like how you decided to diagonally positioned the spoon on the frame. It made the shot look dynamic.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Needle and Spoon

    Innovative, imaginative and creative. Good stuff. As you say, Michhel, this is a project to explore and develop. Keep us up-to-date.

    There's something about the over all composition of this that's not quite hitting the bullseye for me. Maybe it's the ratio of the image. What would 4:5 or even 1:1 look like? But that's just interpretation and personal vision. There are many ways to skin a cat.

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    Re: Needle and Spoon

    Be warned Michael, it is very easy to get addicted to this kind of work as I know to my cost I started doing some a couple of years ago and not only did it take over my photography for a while but the house smelled like a temple for months. I like the composition in this, very dynamic as Willie noted. What lighting setup did you use? I found a flash, in line with and at 90 degrees to the smoke gave me the best results. I'm looking forward to seeing some shots edited with the colour filters, they can be magical.

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    Re: Needle and Spoon

    Michael, I'll leave the formal analysis to others, but to my eye that is a very powerful image that invokes some painful memories. That's what makes it "good" in my untrained opinion.

    The only aspect that struck me as odd was how the tip of the needle blurred as it was entering the spoon (there was no smoke there?)

    Willie: Keith got it right when he innocently used the term "addicted", as the spoon is where a heroin addict blends/prepares their tar heroin for injection, "cooks" the mixture as it is heated over a candle or a few burning matches until blended, and then drawn through cotton into the needle to be injected. Luckily for me, I never went down that road .... a good friend did and paid the ultimate price for it. I miss him.

    Well done, and good luck on the future efforts to improve on it.

    Mike

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    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: Needle and Spoon

    Thanks for the info, Mike. Now that you mentioned the idea about drugs and stuff. A concept immediately came to mind: add a very faint image of a man's face on the background. The problem is, it's not that too subtle anymore. Hahaha!

    Btw, I have to agree - I would love to see the end of the needle with the opening visible at the end and tack sharp for more impact. Michael, your imagination amazes me. Keep it up.

  7. #7
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    Re: Needle and Spoon

    Michael, taking a que from Willie's thought about "very faint image of a man's face on the background", it would be even better (from my perspective only, perhaps) if that was the faded, anguish filled face of a grieving parent who has lost a child. I know it wasn't your intent, but if it stopped just one from going down that road...

    Mike

  8. #8

    Re: Needle and Spoon

    the spoon is where a heroin addict blends/prepares their tar heroin for injection, "cooks" the mixture as it is heated over a candle or a few burning matches until blended, and then drawn through cotton into the needle to be injected.
    That was the first thing that entered my head and as such it is a powerful image (and probably more so in its innocence). I can only echo what others have said about the exposure and capture of the smoke. Very well executed.

  9. #9
    KTHXBAI's Avatar
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    Re: Needle and Spoon

    Thank you all for your comments!

    After reading some of your comments I do want to point out some things in case you are not aware. This image has actually been flipped 180* The spoon is actually catching the smoke. The "needle" is actually smoke itself. It was my intention from the beginning to have the image flipped as I wanted to give it the illusion that it was pouring into the spoon. This particular image did make me think of heroin use so I thought the title was appropriate. If it is one thing I have learned about smoke photography is that it is much like looking at clouds as a child. You can find many images in the vapor/smoke. I'm glad you were able to see what I imagined.

    Jiro: Thank you, I always enjoy your comments. If you say i'm right on the exposure then I know i did it right!

    Donald: I admit I am having a hard time changing cropping from the standard as I sometimes like to print my images on a regular photo paper. I know I need to possible get away from that from time to time.

    Keith: I used a speedlight at a 90* angle like you mentioned with a black shirt for the background. I used a 8x12 softbox type thing on the flash. The problem I had was using my d7000 as a commander... the built in flash would sometimes illuminate the background. CS5 made some work of it though.

    Dizzy: Thank you, I was young once myself and I have had a friend like you have mentioned. I guess I was lucky in the fact that I never had that addictive personality. As for the blurring I have removed it in this image. I think it looks better you tell me.

    Steve: Thank you, thanks to all of you when you enjoy my images it really helps me.

    More smoke to come... and a better smelling musty basement!

  10. #10
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    Re: Needle and Spoon

    Quote Originally Posted by KTHXBAI View Post
    The spoon is actually catching the smoke. The "needle" is actually smoke itself.
    Wow, I never would have thought it was anything but a large gauge needle, and it now makes
    perfect sense why the "needle" appeared to be slightly blurred where it hit the spoon. Very cool
    smoke effect! Needle and Spoon

    Don't see the new image posted yet, but I'm sure it will be along shortly..

    Mike

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