I did some search in the website about the topic and for example found this link but still my situation is different! Best way to create fog outdoors?

I am using a fog machine and two strobes outdoors, I want to put one strobe with a colored gel on behind the model so her background is a blue fog but still I don't want her to be dark so I want another strobe pointing at her to light her up too. But What I am afraid of is how the light from front will interact from the light that is in the back for the fog? will it clear it out? What kind of ratios for these two lights should I use? Also is it better to put the strobe right behind the fog machine or maybe a side lighting of the fog is better?


I can provide some answer to this question based on experience, but this type of photography nearly always requires test shots first and a light meter to get the correct effect. As for ratios, I am not really sure if there are any as I generally expose for the background first which is always dependent on the look I am trying to create and then meter for the subject.

I used a smoke machine and found that the strobe worked best directly behind the smoke and not from the side. The front end of the image covered about 6ft across and the rear approximately 25ft-30ft across and the distance behind the model where the smoke machine pumped out the smoke, was about 10-15ft and the strobe with a gel was about a further 10-15ft back. The model was lit in a controlled manner at a 45deg with an octabox where light fell off pretty much straight off the model and therefore, did not effect the smoke colour. I set the camera for the ambient settings first with 2 stops under for the mood I was creating and then metered the softbox for the model.

More details: I used full power on the strobe behind the smoke and set it to its widest. It gave it the widest and maximum coverage. I did not use a grid. The model from what I recall was set at 1/16th, it was whatever the meter reading was at the time to ensure that the background did not change but the model was correctly exposed.

  • Thanks, from my memory I think you also have experience with Profoto light modifiers too, which I am using...so you mean from the behind first there is the gelled strobe for the backlighting, then 10 feet later is the fog machine and then 10 feet later is the model. right? I was thinking putting the fog and strobe next to each other...and then close to me there is the second strobe to light the model... By "ratios" I meant do we use less power for the fog light and more power for the model light? – Brandon Oct 11 '15 at 19:13
  • So from Profoto lights speaking, maybe a Magnum reflector ( w/o? a gird ) for the fog light...and a Octabox with a grid on it for the model and keep the OctaBox as close as possible to the model because by inverse square law it will fall off faster and won't interfere with the fog to wash it out? – Brandon Oct 11 '15 at 19:18
  • @Blake - out of interest, how did the shoot go? did it all workout as planned? – Abdul N Quraishi Oct 13 '15 at 10:05
  • thanks, here is an unedited, out of camera sample of one of the shots... what do you think can be fixed/improved for next fog shot? ( I did it all on TTL, the light of fog coming from Narrow Beam Reflector and light on model from OCF OctaBox 2" with the grid. ) , then I think I increased the ratio of light on model to +1.5 imageupload.co.uk/images/2015/10/15/yo.jpg – Brandon Oct 15 '15 at 5:04

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