Creative Lessons | Capturing Steam

Inspired by some of my favourite photography writings I am here to share on how I capture one of my favourite subjects. Steam. Natural light seeping through a window and how it speaks is important to me so this guide involves the use of natural light.

I'd be concentrating on steam from a hot beverage, liquid or meal.

Steam feels like home to me. Because I capture food steam it is a feel good feeling to capture a mood and moment that I feel deeply for and sharing that without hope for anything.

Stream 1.png

Camera in Manual Mode

Tripod or steady surface. You can also do this in hand.

Subject - Steam

Contrasting Background/ Dark background to assist in highlighting steam visuals

Single/ Main Light Source. I usually use a window off center or center with complementary dark areas in the background

Consider all composition styles. Work your angles and also work on isolation.

THIS WEEK'S PROJECT: capture steam from your drink or meal.

1. Set up close to a window

2.  Ensure drink or the dish is hot. Work Fast or reheat if necessary. A couple test shots prior to your steam pour would be helpful. That means set up your composition, have a keen eye for what you are capturing before. BE mindful and visualize your outcome before actually clicking to capture your shot.

3. Check your viewpoint - the most effective is at eye-level with the steam.

4. Shoot on manual mode. Set your aperture at it's lowest. Try a test shot with a shutter speed of 1/125th. Use the ISO to control the exposure, or leave it on Auto ISO if you have it, with no upper limit.

5. To keep the steam sharp, use an aperture that gives enough depth of field. Shoot me an email for a cheat sheet of the manual settings used on the photos made above.  

6. Do some test shots to check how fast your shutter speed needs to be. Don't be afraid to take many shots as the steam is ever changing and each shot would give you something interesting to work with.

7. Use manual focus and leave it focussed on the same spot.

8. Edit.