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The Beauty of Smoke: A product photography experiment

I had wanted to test out capturing smoke in product photography for ages and I'm not sure why on earth it took me so long! I love how the smoke twirls and forms and it's really satisfying to capture it.

These product shots involved a bit of trial and error at first, but eventually I landed on a combination of settlings that produced results I was really happy with.  I was working on my own, so used a five second countdown and a continuous shutter setting on my camera. A crucial element was blowing out the candle at just the right time!

While there was some natural light in the room, I opted to primarily use artificial light for a more controlled environment and to get the brightness I needed for the camera settings I wanted to use. The key light source was a softbox positioned to the right and it was from the same direction as the window light. To further refine the lighting and control reflections on the candle jar, I used a few foam boards as light blockers and bouncers. 

I shot these images on my 105mm macro lens and used settings around f/8-9 and shutter speeds of about 1/125.

Really happy with the results and now I've love to try out a shot with candles on a cake.

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