Innovation Corner!

5. Smoke Photography!

This doesnt need any introduction at all and well, its easy to explain anyway, photograph the random nature of the smoke, thats all! Now, you can always make some modifications, such as using smoke guns, different colored lights, varying backgrounds etc. My posts, “ ”  and  “ ”   have been shot at home using very simple props, which are very readily available too. A laptop bag was used as the background and a cellphone with a flash was used as the light source to light my smoke up. The smoke was generated from incense sticks. The following photo describes the set up. Consider yourself very lucky if your parents or significant other let you make this mess, I am lucky guy :p



In the first part, theres a photo of smoke flowing out of a bottle. Its a very simple trick to do. Freeze half a bottle of water in the horizontal way, inject some smoke in the bottle, and then open the cap. The smoke will flow out, but since its cold, instead of flowing up, it ll flow down. Here’s my set up.



The black background and the light improves the contrast many times over. Also, try to do in a dark place to reduce ambient lights. The idea way is to have a couple of flashes positioned around and having a proper black cardboard background, but, this Jugaad  works just as fine…and…its free!!

4. Super-cheap ND Filter!

One of the most common filter used, other than the UV filter, is the ND filter. It is basically a sunglass to the lens.
I talk a bit more about it here:

Now, these ND filters do not come cheap, the good ones I mean. You will find a few DIY on the net, and I didnt invent this one myself, simply put in a bit of desi brain into it.
The ones found widely, suggest using a welding glass, but frankly speaking, we dont get many of those on the local hardware store. What we do get are cheapo sunglasses and and small bags. And they work just fine. You wont get the awesome 8 or 10 stop reduction in light, and you will get some greeinsh tinge too…but these are meant to be handy in a fix, not permanent solution. Use a small aperture and a black and white image, the result should be satisfactory.
Enough talk, now the real stuff!


 IMG_20141110_111457 IMG_20141110_112025

IMG_20141110_112422 IMG_20141110_112502


  IMG_20141110_113717 IMG_20141110_113734


If you feel that its not dark enough, do not worry, open up the other glass, both surfaces of the glasses clean and paste the other one right on top. Do make sure that they stick snugly, no gaps in between and surely, no dust too.
Try this out, and let me know if  you like it.

3. DIY Flash Diffuser!

A flash diffuser is a handy thing to have to soften up the flash for the subject. What do you do when you either do not have the resources to buy a diffuser box or one is not available nearby….you improvise.

Find a white colored cigarette box. Cut open the bottom flap. Slowly and carefully extract the gold/silver foil within. If silver, then better. Reverse the foil. And prop the box up on the onboard flash. Voila, diffuser is ready.

 IMG_20141104_215818     IMG_20141104_215837     IMG_20141104_215852

 IMG_20141104_215923   IMG_20141104_220004

This simple trick works wonders. Check out the effect on :

Have fun. Cheers!

2. DIY Bokeh Filter!

Often you ll come across photos where the background contains lights of certain shapes, other than the standard round or hexagonal type ones, these effects are obtained through bokeh filters. Now, these filters, the glass ones, are pretty costly. But you can make them at home, cheap and easy…and they are good enough!

Things you ll need:
1.  Dark colored, preferably Black craft paper, the heavy one, used for making cards, or transparency sheets
2. Black permanent markers
3. Print outs of the shape you want
4. Glue and a thermocole cutter.

First, print out the shapes on a piece of paper, or draw them on the craft paper. Use a compass or a filter to mark the outline and cut out the circular shape. In case you are using a transparency sheet, you ll need black cellotape to make the transparency sheet opaque properly. Once done, attach the hence formed disk on your lens, which has the max aperture. And thats done! Your filter is ready. Check out the pics below.

 IMG_20141019_215847       IMG_20141019_215946      IMG_20141019_220032     IMG_20141019_220114

This is a pretty easy thing to make, just make sure that the filter made is opaque except for the cut out of your shape and that light doesnt leak through the sides. If you get a haze, or misty appearance, it means the filter is leaking light. Also, the cut out shape, should be smaller than the aperture of the lens. So either have a very small shape, or a fairly big aperture. I use a f/1.8 lens while using a filter. Do keep in mind, that when you use a DIY filter, the light requirements go up my at least 4 stops…so you ll need to adjust accordingly. It has its fair bit of hassle but the results are worth it. Check out the photos on the other posts for a practical example of the filters.


1. Lets begin with….Bokeh! Simple, sweet and very beautiful!

Hellooo Kitty!!

4 thoughts on “Innovation Corner!

  1. Pingback: Smokes I | senk photogrpahy

  2. Pingback: Smokes II (Psychedelic) | senk photogrpahy

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