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No Smoke Without Fire

Posted by Caz on Wednesday, 9th November 2011

I have photographed smoke trails and shapes before, but thought I would see what I could get today by using the microphone sensor and Camera Axe to time the shots.

Here is my setup diagram:

Mic Sensor and Matches Setup

Mic Sensor and Matches Setup

And the actual mini studio in the kitchen:

Studio setup

Studio setup

CameraAxe setup menu

CameraAxe setup menu

Back to the General Sensor setup menu for this shoot. Sensor 1 (the microphone) was set as the trigger for both camera (device1) and flash (device2). I set the delay on the camera to 0ms – I wanted the shutter open right away.

Experimenting with the flash delay gave a value of 350ms which showed some interesting smoke patterns once the “huff” of blowing out the match had triggered the mic sensor. The threshold value was set quite low for this – 040/20 (ambient noise) which meant it was very sensitive to any noises, including blowing out the flame.

Spent matches

Spent matches

The camera was set at ISO100, bulb and f/14. The CAS5 was holding the camera shutter open for a 1s exposure – but of course the only light available during that time was the high speed flash set to 1/32 power.

I burned through quite a lot of matches! But thankfully no fingers or cables, so that was a small price to pay.

Then, as with many of these things, it was just a case of playing about and repeating the process over and over until I got some interesting shapes.

Here is a small selection:

Whisps

Whisps

Match Blister

Match Blister

The Dancer

The Dancer

My favourite of the day turned out to be The Smoke Dragon – which I think Dai had something to do with organising! I also found a good image for today’s MoNovember shot.

4 Comments

  • [...] was playing with matches today. It’s a bit naughty, but being as I’m someone who knows about fire, I kept an eye [...]

  • [...] Contact ← No Smoke Without Fire [...]

  • [...] left with DIY snoot @ 1/32, timed with CameraAxe5 and Microphone Sensor. Notes: I’ve been playing with fire today. There were several nice shapes which formed from my match experiments. I found a good image [...]

  • [...] left with DIY snoot @ 1/32, timed with CameraAxe5 and Microphone Sensor. Notes: I’ve been playing with matches today, this one made a good mono shot. camera axematchmicrophone sensormonovember11smoke [...]