Creative Projects and Challenges DIY Food Tech

How to Create Magical Still Life Photos With DIY Flour Clouds

A magical still life shot using kitched utensils and flour clouds - creative still life photos

Motion in nonetheless life pictures is all the time eye-catching. Particularly should you’re coping with meals!

Pouring sauces, splashes of espresso and falling sprinkles make pictures not solely mouth-watering however far more vigorous and interesting.

Let’s attempt one trick at a time and look into artistic images with lovely clouds of flour.

Why Photographing Flour Is Troublesome – And Tips on how to Repair It!

Once I tried to make a dynamic picture with flour for the primary time, I came upon that merely throwing some flour within the air is just not a really sensible option to take an image.

To start with, the movement of the flour is principally uncontrollable. Second, it tends to fall in unappealing chunks as an alternative of lovely clouds.

Scattering the scene with a strainer works higher, however it doesn’t have the power of a miniature explosion and doesn’t look half as thrilling.

The answer got here within the form of a DIY gadget I wish to name the ‘cloud gun’.

Diptych showing how to set up a magical still life shot using kitchen utensils and flour clouds - creative still life photos

The distinction between the DIY ‘cloud gun’ and a strainer. The latter can produce a phenomenal move of powder on a small scale, nevertheless it doesn’t look very dynamic

The best way to Plan Your Shoot

It’s an excellent apply to start out with a sketch. It can provide help to discover a motivation for flour to be within the body on the first place.

For those who’re capturing arduous sweet, flour can be extraordinarily misplaced. However cookies or muffins would look nice. So would baking utensils, with none meals.

Diptych showing the initial sketch and finished still life shot using kitchen utensils and flour clouds - creative still life photos

Drawing a sketch first is important!

The baking theme is an apparent and probably the most versatile selection. However flour additionally works with any variations of dumplings or manti. And I might like to see your tackle flour clouds with a pasta theme!

Make a sketch and determine which props you want and the way you going to rearrange them. In my case, that’s a easy balancing composition with a rolling pin, a whisk, an egg and a scoop of flour on a tip of my finger.

Meaning I’ll needn’t solely the gadgets in my nonetheless life however some technique of preserving them on this unstable place.

What Props and Gear Will You Want

The props you’ll need are:

  1. a small balloon pump
  2. paper cone
  3. some flour
  4. nonetheless life elements (e.g. numerous kitchen utensils)
  5. means to repair every little thing regular within the air
a flatlay of materials used for creative still life photos

The record of props is brief and easy

I’ve an egg in my composition. That’s not a recent egg, that’s an empty shell. I extremely advocate utilizing eggshells as a result of it’ll prevent a substantial amount of hassle.

Shells are light-weight, in order that they’re simpler to attach and maintain in place. And if an eggshell falls for some cause, nicely, it will be only a crack or a bunch of smithereens. However not a moist, sticky catastrophe.

And also you gained’t lose a wonderfully good breakfast.

two empty eggshells on dark background

Fast tip: work with empty eggshells as an alternative of eggs. It is going to prevent lots of time.

As for gear, the required package is a digital camera, tripod, any mild supply appropriate for capturing at excessive velocity (in my case it’s two speedlights with strip field and a big diffuser) and distant launch (or some assist from an assistant).

You need to use virtually any lens you need, however one thing alongside the strains of 105 mm can be the only option.

That method you possibly can hold your digital camera farther from the motion and safer from any powder that would get between its shifting particulars.

What’s the DIY Cloud Gun and How Does It Work

The system is very simple. Take a balloon pump (you’ll find it at any get together provides retailer) and a bit of paper. Wrap the paper in a cone and connect it to a balloon pump with some masking tape.

There’s not a lot to say, simply use thick paper and don’t make the cone too large.

Two variations of balloon pumps used to create a still life of flour clouds - creative still life photos

Two variations of balloon pumps I used to supply flour clouds. Each are equally good

That’s all! Fill paper cone with flour and push — right here, there’s your unbelievable flour cloud! Attempt it a few occasions to seek out the optimum quantity of flour in your particular system.

Now let’s attempt to create not just one cloud however a well-thought inventive nonetheless life with it.

Methods to Hold All Objects in Place

After the ‘cloud gun’ probably the most important factor you want is a help system on your nonetheless life. I really like to regulate as many elements of the scene as potential, so I’m going to repair every thing regular and take away any seen helps throughout post-processing.

The most cost effective and easiest method I do know to maintain, say, a rolling pin within the air is a few knitting needles, a holder and a glue gun.

Simply glue a knitting needle (or a picket skewer, something will do) to a rolling pin at one finish and repair one other finish with a holder.

Ensure you hold it at a correct peak. I wanted sufficient area to put my hand under the rolling pin later, making it seem like I’ve the complete development balancing on my fingers.

As holders, I used easy clamps for embroidery and scrapbooking. Low cost, straightforward to seek out, and very helpful.

Setup for shooting a still life of flying kitchen utensils and flour clouds - creative still life photos

I attempted utilizing wire up to now, however it was such a headache, I’ll by no means do this once more!

And one final word. Don’t make my mistake and keep away from utilizing string or thread, until you’ll be able to repair your objects actually, actually regular with them.

Don’t simply cling your gadgets on a wire, as a result of they may swing and rotate beneath a movement of flour powder and simply be a complete headache.

Movement could make post-processing quite troublesome. So be certain that nothing strikes throughout capturing.

Easy methods to Organize the Composition

Organize your nonetheless life objects leaving some area for a cloud. It’s greatest to make a check composition as a easy flat lay earlier than you cling the whole lot within the air. Simply to ensure your props look good collectively.

Use the glue gun and skinny, however robust supporting parts. These might be simply eliminated later.

Setup for shooting a still life of a hand balancing kitchen utensils and flour clouds - creative still life photos

Making a check composition with out glueing or hanging something. Simply to see the way it seems to be like.

I began with fixing the rolling pin within the air with a glue gun and a few helps. There’s loads of place beneath the rolling pin as a result of I need to make it look like I’m balancing the whole lot in my hand.

Setup for shooting a still life of a hand balancing kitchen utensils and flour clouds - creative still life photos

Steadily construct a balanced development

Then I added an empty eggshell and glued a picket scoop to it. I glued a whisk to a different knitting needle and glued it regular on prime of the entire construction.

Ensure every little thing is regular and nonetheless.

What Lighting Setup Do You Want

The lighting is extremely easy. I used solely two speedlights. The important thing mild is in a small stripbox on the correct aspect and flippantly behind the scene. It lights the powder making it virtually glowing.

The fill mild is one other speedlight. I set it behind a big diffuser on the left aspect. It lifts the shadows and provides extra quantity to the objects of our nonetheless life.

When you don’t have a second mild supply, use a reflector. It might value you some depth of subject (the decreased quantity of sunshine is an effective incentive to open aperture or increase ISO a bit).

Setup for shooting a still life of a hand balancing kitchen utensils and flour clouds - creative still life photos

Speedlights set on excessive energy create a too lengthy impulse to freeze the movement, producing a blurry picture like this one

Setup for shooting a still life of a hand balancing kitchen utensils and flour clouds - creative still life photos

Right here you possibly can see not solely the lights however all of the helps which are holding the development within the air

Since we’re working with impulse mild, set your shutter velocity to the flash sync velocity – often between 1/160 sec and 1/250 sec.

From there, take a check shot to determine what most aperture you will get with out underexposing a picture.

Set your digital camera on a steady mode to make a number of photographs in a row, and focus manually on the primary object.

Taking the Photograph

If you wish to have your hand within the scene, as I do, begin with that. The whole lot might be coated with flour after that and photographs might develop into arduous to merge.

Contact your development from the underside and take an image. And now we will go to motion!

A still life of a hand balancing kitchen utensils - creative still life photos

First shot. Nonetheless ready for motion

Refill the paper cone with flour, make a cloud and take a sequence of photographs. Attempt to level the movement of powder barely from behind and from the underside so the cloud can contact the objects, however gained’t utterly cowl them and make them invisible and dusty.

You continue to could make a few photographs with a cloud in entrance of objects and use them to hide the helps in post-processing, simply make these photographs the final within the collection.

Setup of shooting a still life using flying kitchen utensils and flour clouds - creative still life photos

Producing a powder cloud and concurrently utilizing a distant shutter launch

At this stage you possibly can add different shifting elements as properly — falling sugar, flying egg yolk, dripping honey, splashes of milk, no matter you discover appropriate.

Photogrid showing the stages of shooting a still life using flying kitchen utensils and flour clouds - creative still life photo

Flour clouds in progress

Keep in mind to maintain it away from open hearth (flour powder is extraordinarily flammable). I can’t think about you’d have an open hearth on this setup, however I need to warn you.

Photogrid showing the stages of shooting a still life using flying kitchen utensils and flour clouds - creative still life photo

Capturing an analogous picture

Engaged on Publish-Processing

Select probably the most lovely cloud and provides the image slightly polish. To start with, merge the primary picture with the cloud and the shot together with your hand.

Place every picture on a separate layer and use a Layer Masks to eliminate the elements you don’t need to see.

After that delete all seen helps. That’s very straightforward to do with the Clone Stamp software.

Screen shot of post processing a still life using flying kitchen utensils and flour clouds - creative still life photo

Use Layer Masks to merge a number of photographs collectively

Photogrid showing the stages of shooting a still life using flying kitchen utensils and flour clouds - creative still life photo

The levels if post-processing: combining two photographs collectively and deleting the helps

Lastly, you’ll be able to modify colours and distinction. That’s all, your artistic motion nonetheless life is prepared!

Amazing still life shot using flying kitchen utensils and flour clouds - creative still life photography

Remaining picture

Listed here are a few photographs made with the identical method.

A cool still life shot using flying kitchen utensils and flour clouds - creative still life photography
A still life shot using flying kitchen utensils and flour clouds - creative still life photography

A magical still life shot using kitchen utensils and flour clouds - creative still life photos

This trick could be very easy however versatile. The most effective factor is, our DIY “cloud gun” works with any powder you will discover, so in the event you’re not into baking, you’ll be able to go one other means.

Add a artistic (and explosive) contact to jewellery images. Why not shoot flying bracelets and rings within the clouds of multicoloured Holi powder?

A magical still life shot using jewellery and colored flour clouds - creative still life photos

Or you’ll be able to dive into ornamental cosmetics and style images with exploding eyeshadow or different make-up powders.

Do this trick and discover your personal methods to make use of it. Better of luck together with your experiments!

A observe from Josh, ExpertPhotography’s Photographer-In-Chief:

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Dina Belenko

There’s one phrase I all the time use to introduce myself, it describes me exactly: “My identify is Dina and I inform animate tales about inanimate objects”. I am an individual with little paper cities, sugar cubes, moon from polymer clay, doll’s miniatures, damaged cups, handmade Rube Goldberg machine, repainted puzzles, wire timber, cardboard dragons and spilled espresso. And with a photograph digital camera. That is fairly primarily me.

You possibly can see extra of my work right here: https://www.instagram.com/dinabelenko/