There is an endless array of practical effects used by professional photographers to produce incredible shots. Everything from smoke machines to special lights and UV paint are already used in photography. The possibilities are endless when you have all the tools and ingredients to create a stunning photo.
What about when you are doing a shoot for personal purposes or just for the fun of it? What if you are working on a shoot with a limited budget? Turning to high-end special effects and materials is certainly not an option. Worry not because these DIY effects are just as interesting to try.
Dry Ice and Vapor
Not every photographer has access to a smoke machine. However, smoke is actually a great thing to play with, especially when you are using a striking, rather unusual lighting setup. Even the thinnest layer of smoke can really accentuate the lights and light sources.
There are two alternatives to the expensive smoke machine. The first one is good old dry ice. Put dry ice in a bowl of water and channel the fog and create the scene you have in mind. Working with dry ice on a large set isn’t easy, but you can use things like balloons or blowers to help.
Another way to create the same smoke-like effect is by using vaporizers. Many vape kits are capable of producing thick vapor when combined with the right vape juice. There are actually a number of options on Mt Baker Vapor. A vaporizer is easier to use than dry ice when you are shooting small items on a table.
Screen as a Background
Another thing you can do when shooting small items or products is using a screen as a background. Many toy photography enthusiasts started using image backgrounds displayed on their monitors or TV screens as a way to make their shots more interesting. The same technique can be used to create beautiful product shots on a budget.
This DIY trick is actually very straightforward. You place your setup in front of a screen big enough to cover the entire frame. You then set the aperture to achieve the right depth of field, and you are all set.
The only challenge is balancing between the brightness of the screen and the light hitting the main object or subject. With a few practices, however, you will be able to nail the exposure every time.
Upside Down Bowl
This last trick is actually a well-kept secret in the food photography world. When you see pictures of food, chances are you aren’t actually seeing a big plate or bowl of food. Food photographers often use a small bowl to prop up the food they shoot in order to make the plate look more appealing.
You can now use this trick when shooting food and other items. Find a small enough bowl and place it upside down on the middle of the plate. Start arranging food or other items you want to capture until the bowl is no longer visible.
Don’t forget to arrange the food so that it looks appealing in-camera. Finally, take the shot and get the professional-looking result you have always wanted to capture.
These tricks are all easy to use and they don’t cost a lot of money to try. There are still so many DIY tricks that can help you spice up your shots, so stay tuned for more articles here on Sortra.