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Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Smoke II (Basic Editing)
Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D
Location: My living room
Date: Nov 2, 2008
Aperture: F/9
ISO: 200
Shutter: 1/40
Galleries: Abstract, Still Life
Date Uploaded: Nov 2, 2008

Smoke Ring and Statue

Adjusted hues and saturation level after importing from Nikon RAW. Cropped, framed and sharpened.


Thanks for the blue everyone, even to those who voted 4 and below ;-)

It's late so I'll write up a how I did it tomorrow.


So my original idea was to have a red heart shaped smoke ring. My hope was to find some red smoke from a magic shop, but even though it was close to halloween, I wasn't able to. I ended up just getting incense, and would go with standard smoke color.

So the next trick was, how would I create heart shaped rings? After brainstorming with my son and his friend over lunch, we decided having a heart shaped cutout put over the end of a paper towel roll may result in what I wanted. As I was creating my roll, I realized I needed to cap the other end to trap the smoke so when I squeezed it to create the puff/ring, it wouldn't escape out the back. So with my heart cutout cap on one end and the other end capped off, I proceeded to setup the statue.

I setup my black backdrop and then had the statue on a table. In front of the table I had my speedlight set on the floor shooting straight up. I ended up putting a cardboard shield up against the table to keep the flash from directly hitting the statue. The light you see is indirect, and bounced off the ceiling.

Originally I had the statue facing the other direction, but with some natural air current, even without the air conditioning on, and all windows closed, I was having trouble getting the smoke to trail correctly. So we decided to face it the other way. My girl friend had the tube with smoke off screen to the left behind the statue and would puff a ring. As soon as it would get in position past the table and into the light of the speedlight I would remote trigger the flash. As you can see, even with a heart cutout, the ring was a circle :-(

It took several hundred near hits to get this one. I'd like to thank Yessica and her patience for pushing me to keep shooting until we got it right!

Place: 1 out of 105
Avg (all users): 7.0729
Avg (commenters): 8.3704
Avg (participants): 6.6047
Avg (non-participants): 7.1716
Views since voting: 8746
Views during voting: 585
Votes: 247
Comments: 71
Favorites: 22 (view)

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11/17/2008 05:17:32 PM
Great idea and great outcome - congrats on the blue :o)
11/17/2008 06:29:31 AM
OOOOhhhh! So cool! Great idea, and beautifully executed. Congrats on the blue!
11/16/2008 07:08:55 PM
Wow! Great job and congratulations!
11/15/2008 09:17:11 PM
Congrats! !
11/15/2008 04:18:11 PM
Fantastic work! Congrats on a well deserved blue ribbon!
11/15/2008 10:56:35 AM
Very unique composition, congrats on your win!
11/14/2008 06:18:14 PM
Wooohoooo, Danny!! congrats!!
11/13/2008 06:22:39 AM
Ah! I liked this picture as soon as I saw it. It was so wonderfully done!

Congratulations on a very well-deserved 'blue', Danny. Also thanks for sharing how you took it (Marvelous!) - I was so curious to know it.

:-), Vikram

Message edited by author 2008-11-13 06:24:04.
11/12/2008 09:11:20 PM
well I wish I have the power to return with such a bang-- you still have it my friend-- fantastic image-
11/12/2008 03:45:18 PM
Congratulations on your Win, great lighting love the contrast and your idea is so creative. Very well deserved win. :)
11/12/2008 12:36:23 PM
GO Danny!!! congrats! Such a winner....(Shakes pompoms)!
11/12/2008 12:28:32 PM
right on, Danny!! :)
11/12/2008 12:08:16 PM
Nice idea well executed. Congrats on blue.
11/12/2008 11:52:54 AM
Most excellent execution. This was one of my faves from this challenge. Congrats on the blue :)
Thanks for the setup details. Always appreciated and interesting to read.
11/12/2008 11:44:36 AM
congrats on a well thought-out and executed shot... and the blue of course... and the other prize :)

ETA: I am so glad your red heart idea did not pan out. It would've been rather tacky, but with the ring it is perfect. Actually, this smoke ring reminds me a ribbon without flaps... coincidence? :)

Message edited by author 2008-11-12 11:50:08.
11/12/2008 10:25:04 AM
there you are!!
Very cool!
11/12/2008 10:00:52 AM
Congratulations, nice results. This prompts me to experiment with my smoke machine. Could you make the statue pucker more?
11/12/2008 09:49:44 AM
Yours was one of my top picks...congrats
11/12/2008 09:40:57 AM
11/12/2008 09:00:02 AM
Great photo in all respects. I am glad you got the blue. I look forward to your description on how you mastered this shot.
11/12/2008 08:48:26 AM
Brilliant! Congrats! I can't wait to hear how you did this.
11/12/2008 08:31:47 AM
Proficiat! This was the winner in my book too and I voted a 10 ( I only gave two 10's by the way) The only 9 that I gave went to the 2nd placed red ribbon winner.

Message edited by author 2008-11-12 08:37:16.
11/12/2008 08:12:34 AM
spectacular! definitely one of my challenge favs. can't wait to read the write up. congrats Danny!
11/12/2008 07:16:46 AM
Well look what the cat dragged in! ;) Congrats dude. We've missed you muchly!
11/12/2008 06:20:55 AM
Hey man congrats! the only 10 I gave in the challenge...
11/12/2008 02:29:36 AM
Yo, beat the Kiwi by a mile. Congrats. :)
11/12/2008 02:27:23 AM
I gave it a 10 only because I couldn't give it an 11. Very nice photo. :)
11/12/2008 02:02:13 AM
What a great image - regardless how it was done! Very creative and looks like a million bucks.

Perfect balance - excellent lighting - but most of all something interesting and pleasing to look at. The frame is tastefully done.

Now this is an image I easily would have on the wall in my house.
11/12/2008 01:18:22 AM
Well done. Congratulations. I can't wait to read the details.
11/12/2008 01:13:29 AM
Congratulations. This photo is exceptional and your win well deserved.
11/12/2008 12:59:58 AM
Yeah no kidding 14 4's...i don't get it...Awesome job!
11/12/2008 12:57:01 AM
This is brilliant! Love everything about this, especially the lighting. The tiny sliver of light in the eye just gives it the perfect touch. Congratulations on your blue AND on winning the duel ;-)
11/12/2008 12:46:55 AM
11/12/2008 12:32:04 AM
Congrats on the blue Danny! Creative, original and very cool shot!!!
11/12/2008 12:30:11 AM
crabby - welcome back!!! Wonderful shot!!
11/12/2008 12:23:08 AM
Hey congrats....I still want the puppy tissues though!!!
11/12/2008 12:22:33 AM
One of the coolest pictures I have ever seen. Wow.
11/12/2008 12:05:20 AM
ooo this is SO clever! Intriguing.Congratulations.
11/12/2008 12:01:38 AM
woooooohoooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! no other words my friend!
 Comments Made During the Challenge
11/11/2008 10:35:44 PM
Genius. 10
11/11/2008 02:28:23 PM
This is really unusual and looks awesome. The smoke ring is perfect and the blue tone is really good, only thing that bugs me is the visible brown sleeve(?) on the wrist.
11/11/2008 10:05:02 AM
That is a cool picture... but it's kinda creepy.
11/11/2008 02:22:31 AM
I love the little statue thing, and good job with the smoke ring. 8
11/10/2008 08:50:32 PM
Now this is just too cool.
11/10/2008 06:21:23 PM
Clever, and beautifully lit.
11/10/2008 01:14:15 PM
VERY cool! Hope for top 3 for you.
11/10/2008 12:36:21 PM
Super-cool 10 Creative and well executed
11/10/2008 12:16:34 PM
Love this. It is one of my favourites. Good lighting and a great idea
11/09/2008 12:22:59 PM
excellent! i know the sculpture adds a lot to the uniqueness of this photography but your excellent lighting work makes the shot. the circular smoke is a perfect touch. should place high. good luck.
11/09/2008 12:16:06 PM
My candidate for the blue. Excellent shot and creativity. I hope you post the details on how you accomplished this shot. 10
11/09/2008 09:52:00 AM
I've no idea how this can be done with one single shot - quite impressive...
only the visible sleeve is a bit interfering
11/08/2008 02:19:25 PM
perfect image! mi first 10 in this challenge..sure a winner!
11/08/2008 10:53:03 AM
fantastically whimsical, well lit, and very nicely composed. This deserves merit
11/07/2008 10:17:34 PM
Very clever, great shot.
11/07/2008 06:05:11 PM
Wonderful shot. 10
11/07/2008 02:01:00 PM
Very creative....
11/07/2008 01:27:02 PM
top finisher for sure, good luck
11/07/2008 12:44:10 PM
Very, very cOOl!!
11/06/2008 07:24:24 PM
quirky and clever - should go high
11/06/2008 02:17:59 PM
Congratulations on the fantastic picture and getting the smoke ring in the right place! The only little flaw is that the lighting is on the sculpture an not on the smoke, but that's really being needlessly picky.
11/06/2008 01:17:07 AM
we have to know how you did it and what was the setup! 9! :)
11/05/2008 10:40:51 PM
Meets Challenge:2
Personal Bias:
11/05/2008 09:58:08 PM
Very interesting shot. While I am not a big fan of set up shots, I like your creativity here.
11/05/2008 06:02:09 PM
This deserves a medal just so we can find out how you did it. Great imagination and execution. Gets a 10 from me
11/05/2008 01:14:53 PM
amazing!!!!!!! how in gods name did you do this, i gave you a 10
11/05/2008 12:40:14 PM
Absolutely wonderful.
11/05/2008 12:06:15 PM
This is neat, good idea, nice clarity, 7.
11/05/2008 10:24:37 AM
11/05/2008 03:19:20 AM
i'm wondering how many shots were taken to get this right.. lol.. welldone
11/05/2008 02:48:41 AM
I love this!!! wish the smoke was a lil sharper though
11/05/2008 12:29:10 AM
cool smoke circle and setup!

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