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This is what I was able to take so far:

enter image description here

How can I also capture the steam that is coming out of the cup? I looked up some smoke photography videos on Youtube and they were all using a black background but as you see I am in the patio in day light. How should I do this? I do that two flashes if needed and a sync cord.

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  1. Ensure that steam exists(I'm not confident with that being the case here)
  2. Add contrast to the background as you aren't going to see white steam on a white background
  3. Add depth to the steam with something other than flat lighting(i.e. add a directed harsh flash)
  • you are right, the cup was empty here, although in another shot I poured hot water in the cup and nothing showed in the photo. How can I add the contrast to the background? And for the harsh flash, for example should I shoot the flash from right hand side to the area above the cup? – Brandon Mar 1 '15 at 0:02
  • You might want to practice with incense or similar as it burns long and slow. Hot things can stop producing steam quickly especially in the cold and if they aren't agitated. – dpollitt Mar 1 '15 at 0:03
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    hmm, maybe drop a cigarette inside the cup to make some smoke coming out of it? – Brandon Mar 1 '15 at 0:07
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    Add contrast by using a dark background with steam/white smoke, or by using a light background with dark smoke. – Michael C Mar 1 '15 at 5:41
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    As a rule of thumb: for smoke, you want to side light; for rain, backlight; for falling snow, sidelight. – nchpmn Mar 2 '15 at 1:00

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