Make it rain! – creating rain and bokeh effect with water

Hello folks! 🙂

I hope you all are doing great and passing a wonderful time! Today I’m about to share a simple trick I use to create some of my rain photos. Usually I use a spray water bottle to make fake rain, but this method is for getting a bit more heavy rain look with more water droplets. It’s super easy and fun (and a bit messy too :P)

I always love to create rainy photographs, and since winter is coming there will be enough time to do more indoor shots. so lets bring little rain to your photos and make something beautiful 🙂

Props and tools

The things I use to create my photos are very simple. Small still life objects ( I used one of my sea shells here), something to sprinkle the water, towel or paper towels (lots!) and something to pour the water, (I used a teapot).

I thought of different options to make the water sprinkler, but for me the nice and most easy way was to make this one from an old empty soda bottle. I cut it in half and punched some holes and that’s it. At first I thought of using a watering can but that would be heavy to work with and also I had to buy it. So instead of buying I liked the idea of recycling and making my own little water sprinkler. This makes the water flow scattered and gives some big, beautiful drops.

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Lighting

To get some beautiful bokeh in the background you’ll need a source of backlight. I’ve shot this in my balcony where there’s plenty of natural sunlight available. I placed my subject in a corner where I could get nice backlight without causing much shadow cast in my subject. And to get rid of existing shadows, I used a little white reflector which was a cut sheet of styrofoam.

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Shooting

So now that I’m done with my composition it’s time to shoot! With my camera set to self-timer mode I poured water onto my subject through the sprinkler during the exposure. For this photo my camera setup was something like this: Shutter speed 1/1600 sec, Aperture f/1.8, ISO 640. You may need to adjust the shutter speed depending on how heavy you want the water drops to look. Slower shutter speed will make them appear softer.

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Things to remember

Working with water is a bit critical and you should always be careful about your lens and camera. Just to be on the safe side, I highly recommend capturing some test shots before pouring water onto your neatly arranged subject. Also keep in mind that water will probably make a bit of mess and change your composition slightly, so leaving some space for rain drops and chaos would be a good idea.

So when you are all set up, let it rain! Pour water and make a series of shots. Another advantage of using a tripod is if you can’t get the picture you wanted you can always composite different images together and create the desired look. Just be careful with your electronic equipments and have fun. It’s always such fun to mimic the rain and if you can get some nice water crowns it will be icing on the cake! 🙂

This is my final result after post processing

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Some other photos using this technique

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I hope you like this little behind the scene story. Please do share your thoughts and also if you have any ideas, I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

I wish you all a very Happy and Creative day!

Behind the scene and speed edit video

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Inspiration is Everywhere – shooting miniature car scene

Hello my friends! 🙂

I hope you all are doing great!

So few days ago I went to shoot for a photo project I’m currently working on, and I’ve found a place which looked very ordinary and not so interesting at first but in the photographs it looked quite beautiful! So I thought of doing a behind the scene story about it and sharing with you guys 🙂

I often get asked where do I find my locations or backgrounds and one of my friend even told me how he wish he had the backgrounds like that near him. Well, the answer is most likely you already have! All you have to do is to look a bit differently and get creative with it. So I hope this will give you the idea about what my backgrounds are look like 🙂

The location I went for photographing is a bit far from the main city. The reason I like it so much is because most of the time it’s very quiet and I can roam around and take photos without people watching me :D. So I was just taking some shots for my project and there were some constructions going on. Beside the construction site there was a little drainage system to pass the rain water, and when I saw that drainage I immediately got an idea. All the rocks and pebbles and flowing water looked like a little creek to me. Fortunately I had one of my miniature cars with me and I thought I’d create a scene with it, something that gives the feeling of a journey… as if the little car is taking a short break after a long journey.

So this was the drainage I used as a creek 😛 I think this is the fun of photography, you don’t have to get the real things, you can always mimic and create your own space!

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The scene was pretty simple… setting sun, a little creek, with hint of mountains in the background. The only trouble was to get down real low to get a good perspective for the car. And yes I did covered part of myself with the dirt and mud haha.

There were some piles of sand and gravel which looked like hills to me, so for the mountains I thought of using them. I turned my camera focus mode to the manual and took some defocused shots of the piles which looked just like mountains.

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shot defocused using manual focus at f/1.8

And later I composited all the images together in Photoshop. First I opened the main shot, expanded a bit, added the mountain background, then added a sky overlay to make it look more atmospheric. This is the steps I did to create the final scene

expanded the main image using crop tool

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Then used the eye dropper tool and picked colour from the background

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Then using the brush tool I painted over the background

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Then copied and pasted the new background as a layer and resized, changed the opacity and using the mask tool I removed the unnecessary parts.

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And later added a sky overlay, changed the opacity, resized and removed the unwanted part by masking out

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So this is my process of adding a background. Now it was easy to add a background like this because I already had this white clear sky in the background. Also luckily it was an overcast day, so it’s easy to blend the images as the lighting is even. So if you are going to try some compositing or something that requires image blending, I’d suggest to shoot in an overcast day or ambient kind of light. It’s also great for changing lighting, like I did in this image.

Also you don’t always have to take different shots and combine them together, most of the time everything is there.

Here’s the main shot

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and this is the finished one

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Another example of the same place where I’ve created this

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So don’t be too concerned about finding a perfect place, if you try to see things and think a bit differently trust me there will be more than enough!

I hope you like this and also I’d be very happy to know about some random places where you’ve taken a picture. So please do share your thoughts, photos and stories! 🙂

Hope you all have a wonderful day/night! Happy creating! 🙂

speed edit video of the whole editing process:

Working with the backgrounds – natural bokeh

Hello my friends! Hope you all are doing great!

I’ve got quite a few requests about how I create bokeh in my photos. The process is pretty simple, but I thought I’d write down more details with some behind the scene shots, also I’ve included a little video showing how the bokeh takes form in a 50mm lens, hope you’ll like it 🙂

For this I’ve used a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens. This is the lens I use almost everytime. It creates some amazing bokeh while producing a sharp focus.

The camera setup:

First thing to do for creating bokeh is to set your F number as low as possible, like f/1.8 or even f/1.4. The bigger your aperture the more smooth and round shape bokeh you’ll get. Here’s an image to show how bokeh shapes looks different by changing the F number.

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The Setup:

Here I’m showing a process of how I create my outdoor bokeh shots. I’ve used my little red vespa as the subject, and shot this in my balcony where there’s a great source of natural bokeh in the background.

Now some things I need to keep in my mind when I shoot this type of photos. First of all the sunlight. I need the sunlight in the background and better if it’s shining through some object, for example tree leaves. That will create the shapes and also will add interests to my images. But I need to make sure that the sunlight isn’t too harsh, that will be distracting and will take eyes away from my subject. This is the reason why I always shoot in the early morning or late afternoon. Here’s a photo to show you what’ll be the result if the sunlight is too bright.

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you can see that the bokeh is too bright and a bit distracting, also there’s a chance of having colour banding in the time of post-processing. So study your background and light, experiment with different angles and see what works the best.

Also I need to make sure that my subject is well lit, because there’s sunlight in the background I need a reflector or some source of light that can light my subject. I choose a corner of my balcony where there’s plenty of natural light available, the distant trees in the background make the sunlight shine through and also there’s a white apartment building in front of my balcony which acts as a natural source of reflector.

Here are some setup shots to explain the process :

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Now that the setup is done I go for shooting. I shoot with different angles to see how the background looks. I think it’s always nice to have more photos to choose from when I finish taking photos of the same object. Also, another thing to remember is the distance between your subject and background objects. The more your subject is in distant with the background the more smooth and blurred background you’ll get.

So now that I got my shot, lets go to the editing part to make the bokeh stand out a bit more.

I start by doing regular process like colour correction, adjusting the contrast and stuffs. I’ll write down more details about the toning in future posts, right now I’m going straight to the bokeh part.

Now I’ve already got the desired bokeh in camera, so I’m just going to enhance it a little more to add some fun and lighting effects. So here’s my edited photo before adding the lighting effect :

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Now I’m going to add some lights in my photo. Also I’m doing this to make those round edges a bit more soft to blend well with the background.

I’m creating a new layer in photoshop, then selecting the Gradient tool. Then I open the gradient editor and choose the ”Foreground to transparent” option and click ok. Then i choose the ”radial gradient” option from the gradient menu, and I like to keep the gradient opacity between 50-60% so that i don’t overdo anything. After that I select a foreground colour. I want to add some warm lights so I’m choosing a reddish-orange colour. Then i just drag my mouse to those big round shapes in the background and after that I change the blending mode of the layer to the screen mode and down the opacity a bit so that it doesn’t look overdone. I can always add more lights by doing so until I get the desired look. And That’s it. This is totally optional and just how I like to do for my images, you can experiment with other adjustment layers and options as you wish.

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And I’m done.

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I hope you like this behind the scene story. If you have any question please feel free to ask, also if you have any tips or story about your process please so share with me. I’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂

Wish you all a very happy weekends!

Home is where the art is

Hello and welcome to my blog! My name is Arefin and I’m a fine art photographer. I’ve created this blog to share my photography, experiences and what I’ve learned so far during my photography journey. I’ve tried blogging before but that didn’t work out because of the lack of time. Hopefully I’ll be able to continue it this time around. Over the past years, I’ve been very fortunate to come in contact with so many wonderful people after I started photography, I’ve got some amazing feedbacks and learned so much. I feel that the right thing to do is to pay it forward, to give back as much as I can to the community that helped me so much to grow up as a photographer and artist. So this blog is for all the amazing people out there, I’m really very much thankful for your support. Through my photography journey I’ve got people asking me for showing how I create my works, do I have a studio or what are my setups, do I own some expensive lighting equipments? Well, I’m going to share a personal story with you. When I started photography I used to think that oh crap! I don’t have a nice personal space or studio, I don’t have this flash or that reflector. And I’m quite shy to roam around in the city with my camera. But later when I started to focus on creating from what I have got, surprisingly I found that actually I already have more than I need. All I had to do is to think a little bit and combine the things I got. And for today I’m gonna show you where I shoot most of my images. So I have two favourite places in my house to create my photos, number one is my balcony. The reason why I love this little space so much because I can get plenty of natural sunlight during daytime, as it’s placed facing the south I can get both the light of sunrise and sunset! And also the background looks quite beautiful when blurred out. The distant trees in the background make some beautiful and smooth bokeh and as a I’m a huge bokeh lover this is just perfect for me. Also you can see the wall has got some textures which is also great to use as a background for some still-life photos. The only thing that always bother me is those iron grills (They are very common here in Bangladesh). And sometimes I really need to work hard to get rid of them in the photos, but that’s ok. With a bit of tricks it’s possible to avoid any kind distracting elements and I’ll discuss how I do that in another post.DSC_2581 Here are some of my setup photos in this space, you can click on the photos if you want to have a bigger look. 5242577_eprvxyz137_o5242583_cefhlstv37_o The final shot DSC_1730 Some of the other photos I’ve created using this space DSC_1132DSC_04782 Another favourite place of mine is beside the window of my room. I usually shoot the photos which are a bit dark and need only one lighting source. And the corner of my room with this window is just perfect for that. The window acts as a great natural source of light and kind of gives a speedlight effect and the dark blue curtains of my window create a beautiful dark background. All I have to do is to place a table and the subject, choose the right view and shoot. DSC_2523 Here are some photos taken from this place 13th-april,waiting27th-july,sonnet-for-a-rainy-dayDSC_1337DSC_0124 So these are the two most favourite places where I create my photos. I will discuss more details about backgrounds and other things in next post. If you also got some favourite places to shoot please do share with me, I’d very much like to know and get inspired! 🙂