Friday, September 16, 2016

5 Tips on using Fog & Haze In Your Photography

Rosco Spectrum: Jay P. Morgan from The Slanted Lens recently worked on two photo shoots where he used fog and haze as a lighting tool. As always, Jay P. turned his experience into two excellent photography tutorials.

7 comments:

Angel Zhou said...

Though this article is clearly a plug of sorts for the Rosco fog & haze machines, I appreciate its brief mention of the product followed by a strict focus on tips and tricks. I really wish Goldsworthy had included an image comparison in the "Mind Your Angles" section the way she did for the "Contrast Control" one. Unfortunately, I cannot take much out of the two "Mind Your Angles" images because I'm not sure which one is positioned in what way (this is compensated by the video, but it is not obvious at first glance). I do appreciate the videos, though, because they really give their audience a more personal view into what the article is saying. The videos are very clear and the images they display are gorgeous. Though I do not particularly agree with the makeup choices in the Angel video, I was entranced by most of the images in the Shafts of Light video, especially the basketball player and the woman in a yellow dress ones. If my T2i Rebel hadn't stopped working, I might be running to try out a few shots out myself.

Chris Calder said...

Back when I first started my theatre career I really though the main goal was to push as much fog onto the stage as possible and make everyone feel they are flying in the clouds. I quickly learned that this was not the right thing to do and that the use of fog can really add to the appearance of the set. Back when I was in high school I did a production of Peter Pan and it was my job to make the dry ice fog machine. This is when I began to realize the importance of fog and how it should be used in a theatrical setting. Every single one of the “tips” the article talks about is extremely valid and important but for my money the most important is the quality of light. Light is a crucial aspect to achieving the look you want and the placement of the light and fog are what make the image so powerful.

Alexa James-Cardenas (ajamesca@andrew.cmu.edu) said...

I’m not a very photogenic person. So whenever I take a picture with someone 9/10, I’m going to make a weird face to cover up my lack of talent of looking good on camera. So when I saw the article I was like, well might as well read this, because perhaps it’ll give me insight on how not to look shitty in pictures. As I was reading the article though, I started to think in terms of costume and characters and how important the atmosphere and how you want your character to look on camera is. For example, under the heading ‘Mind Your Angles’ you will see two pictures side by side. Both pictures contain a man with a hammer, and the only difference being the angle of the camera. I quickly saw (and the fact that the author mentions it) that each pic gives you a different perspective, and in my case an entirely different read of character. To me the picture on the left seems a bit more personal, as if I was the child of his, and he was angry at me (which explains his expression), or even a bit disappointed. His outline his much sharper as if I could reach out and grab him by the wrist. The other picture on the right seems like a much distant person, in terms of a relationship between him and the person he is staring at. It’s a little hazy and he’s posture is straighter (which could be a choice made by the actor I do realize), which could make him seem like a person whom I look up to, but don’t have much emotional ties with (like a grandfather you don’t connect with). So if I have a specific way I want the person looking at the picture then the angles, light, smoke, etc. is really important not only to understand, but to manipulate as well.

Nick Waddington said...

when i first saw this article, i was interested to learn a little more of the more niche side of lighting. and once i started reading, I started thinking about how it would apply to different shows that i had seen or worked on. when thinking about it, i remembered The Full Monty which i saw here at CMU. in many of the scenes there were harsh lights that projected clear shafts of light. it added a lot to the individual scenes, and i thought it was interesting how they used that to create atmosphere for the show. It also makes me think about the collaboration that would go on between Lighting Designers and Scenic Designers. I may never use this info as it pertains to the movie or photography industries, however i hope to make use of it as much as i can in the theater world.

Alex Fasciolo said...

So, as a lighting designer, atmospheric effects hold a really special place in my heart. Really, they do, they’re in my book hands down one of the most effective ways to enhance the tone of a show, and enhance the quality of the lighting in that show. I understand that many people do not like atmospheric effects, particularly the overuse of haze in a room, and that some people question why we use haze at all. Though I admit there is a stigma about haze, and that though some people go too far with it, I am always a fan of considering the appropriate use of atmosphere for a show. This article did a nice job of explaining the function of haze, how it can and should be used, and some nice tricks to get the most out of your haze. Again, the goal isn’t to smoke out your audience, but to provide them an atmosphere that they may not even notice which brings them into the ‘magic’ of the stage. Also, and though this might be my only complaint with this article, I think this guy should learn how to use the word ‘beam’ instead of ‘shaft’.

Zara Bucci said...

I can appreciate a lot of what this article has to say. I agree with all of the reasons he has so much, and even though these examples are mostly derived from haze in film and photography- the sentiment can carry over into theatre for sure. In some ways, it is hard to direct where the haze is going and in what direction since we’re in such open spaces. I think that the use of haze can truly make or break an experience. I remember my entire freshman year whenever I walked into the Richard Rauh Theatre I would either walk into a literal cloud of smoke or I would sit down in me seat- pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t inhaling haze- and then after the safety message and black out the room would fill up with haze immediately. Especially for shows like the wiz where the haze was pumped out so evenly throughout the show it would fill up the audience as well.

Sam Molitoriss said...

Haze is such a powerful tool. It can be used to create many visually stunning images. I agree with Zara in that the control of haze is paramount to its success. The video discusses a photo shoot, where we only see through the lens of the camera. In that case, no one cares if the haze is blown out at crazy speeds and fills the room, since the crew can just wait for the haze to thin out. In contrast, seeing an obvious stream of haze shooting out from the wings of a theater looks tacky. In addition, HVAC systems can cause air currents to disrupt the haze diffusion, which can be tricky to work around. Oil-based haze is generally easier to manage because it is instantly butter-smooth as soon as it comes out of the machine, but its disadvantages make it impractical for most theatrical use. Going back to the video, I think the most important point that Morgan makes is that shaping the beams of light can have a profound effect on the quality of the light. It's one thing to have an uninterrupted shaft of light hitting a subject, but breaking up that light into an endless possibility of shapes can really increase the visual impact.

CMU School of Drama