Ever wondered how you can create volumetric lighting and light rays in both your stills and video? Well in this blog post and video I will show you how to create them the practical way using just card, smoke and light, and it’s great fun!
Below is a list of all the gear used to create the short video and all the straight out of camera raw images.
- Vlog Camera
- Teaser trailer camera
- Shotgun Mic
- Studio Lighting
- Smoke Machine
- Millennium Falcon
- Kylo Ren
So first we need to cut out or title in our foam board, you can use any font you prefer I chose this font to keep the Starwars theme going.
Now we need to create an atmosphere and to do this we are using an inexpensive smoke machine. We need to blast that smoke in the area we are going to shoot in. Pump as much in as you like to get the desired effect. To get the title effect in the video simply use your title you have cut out of some foam board.
Clamp to a stand, leave your main room light on and set up your camera on a tripod. Focus the camera on the cutout and then place your light. I used this light but you can use any small point light source. I found that using a snoot fitted with grid gave me the best results. Turn the light on and set your exposure for the light coming through the cutout.
Now, here’s where the fun starts. Turn off the main room light and instantly you will see the cool light rays beaming through the cutout with the room filled with smoke. It’s creating that volumetric light effect. To get movement like I did in the video simply take your light source and run it left to right behind your foam board with the cutout which gives that cool title effect.
You can see how effective these results are from the raw pullback shots.
This effect is so simple you can use in all sorts of scenarios, scaling the whole set up you can use it effectively in your portraits, create really cool looking environmental shots where your lights source could be the natural light coming through blinds on the window all you have to do is add the smoke/atmosphere, the possibilities are limited to only our imagination.
Hope you have enjoyed this post and found it helpful, I can only urge you to give a a go it is great fun!
About the Author
Barry Mountford is a portrait photographer based in Gateshead, England. For more of his work, check out his website, follow him on Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to his YouTube channel. To get in touch, you can look him up on Facebook. This article was also published here and shared with permission.