How to create real clouds for photo shoots with soap

Oct 16, 2016

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

How to create real clouds for photo shoots with soap

Oct 16, 2016

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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If you want to have really fluffy clouds in your photos, you basically have three options: The most time consuming option is probably shooting on a day where the weather fits. Your second option would be to compose some clouds in (there is quite a wide selection here). But the most fun way would be to create your own clouds.

We shared one method before which involved balloons and pillow stuffing, but this method was is definitely more fun, and kids friendly. Not to mention it will make your house smell nice for about a week.

YouTube video

Photographer Alex Zatsepin (previously) showed us this cool method of creating microwave clouds with soap. If you are in the US, you’d wanna use a brand called Ivory for its physical properties. (its like 40 cents a bar, or 40 cents a cloud). That soap is filled with air so it creates magic when put in the microwave. (If you don’t have access to Ivory brand, look for soap bars that float in water)

You are going to place the soap bar in the microwave and run it for about 80-90 seconds. This will inflate the soap bar into a cloud. It will also create a massive soapish smell that will stick to the microwave (and your M/W chicken, soup and toast) for a long time. So, make sure you have permission from the microwave owner (mom/dad/wife/husband). And we are definitely not recommending trying this at work (when other employees can see you, at least).

Once you have the cloud, Alex shows just how effective some lighting can be to make it look 100% real.

A trivial cloud can be made by combining soft and hard light:

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and some gels can place it in the sky

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But you can take this to other, more creative places as well:

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Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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4 responses to “How to create real clouds for photo shoots with soap”

  1. Art Nau Avatar
    Art Nau

    That looks nothing like clouds that i have seen :)

  2. Wilson W Wong Avatar
    Wilson W Wong

    That’s exactly what it looks like. Soap.

  3. Jose Garcia Avatar
    Jose Garcia

    At least he is trying. Why knock someone for being creative? If anything, people like this inspire me to keep exploring new ideas.

  4. Andy Murray Avatar
    Andy Murray

    Never knew real clouds were made of soap