Words and Photos by Joshua Go
Using neon lights in taking portraits has been a big thing in the Philippines lately. However, have you ever wanted to stand out or not conform to the norm? As a photographer myself, that is something I strive to do with every photo. I started looking for different props to use to be able to get the “awe factor.” I was personally inspired by a photographer from Vancouver (@Instadave (Dave Worden)) who uses things such as smoke bombs and steel wool in his photos. As of today, I have been able to incorporate those aspects into my photography and hopefully inspire you guys also at the same time to be able to take these kinds of photos.
4) Using Steel Wool
At first, using steel wool might seem complicated; but once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty straight forward. Just get a whisk and a rope that you can tie on to the whisk.
Then get the steel wool (I recommend you use super fine steel wool) and put it inside the whisk. You then light the steel wool using a lighter or a battery and start swinging it in a circular motion. However, you could also try different things to be unique. Just a fair warning, be careful where you do these because there is a possibility of setting things on fire.
Pro-tip, use a tripod to ensure that your camera is stable, and your images are looking sharp.
3) Using smoke bombs
Personally, I find using smoke bombs a lot more fun, and I would recommend anyone to use it when given a chance. They work well when used with different props such as neon lights or an umbrella. The one rule for smoke bombs is that you need to get creative.
2) Using Clone Stamp in Photoshop
Using the clone stamp tool allows you to add a dream-like feel to your photos, making them even more out of the ordinary. You could basically copy different elements from a different and photo and paste it on another. This is what I did with the photo above. I used the clone stamp to create the effect of the smoke as the head by taking different parts of the smoke in other photos and replacing the model’s head.
1) Layering Photos
Layering images lets you combine two or more photos together giving you the chance to give your work a unique feel. I usually do this by mixing a long exposure photo with a still photo of a person to be able to make the person in the photo look sharp while there are lines of light passing beside the person.
At the end of the day, just always remember to be creative and don’t stick to what everyone is doing. Although finding your own style might be difficult, it is crucial that as a photographer, you continue to explore new ways of doing photography. You don’t necessarily need to revolutionize the field, but instead, strive to show others what it means to be genuinely creative.
Which tip will you be using? Let us know!