Using a Fog Machine to create atmospheric effects
After cleaning out the garage recently I came across a fog machine that I had stored way back among the Halloween party decorations.
I haven’t used it in year and also tossed it in the tag sale pile but then it hit me, why not use it in my photography studio for some atmospheric, book cover images?
So I’ve been experimenting recently. The smoke machine or fog machine I have uses “fog juice” and a heating element to create a smoky fog that lifts into the air. Unlike dry ice which creates vapor that drops to the ground.
This fog machine is good for a small production or party use. Here are some of the answers to questions I had before I bought the machine. Hope this will help you:
1. The size of the machine is 8.5″ x 6″ x 6″
2. There is a bottle in the back where you pour the fog juice in
3. On the right side, there is a slot, so you can see the level of the liquid
4. On the left side, on top is the plug in for the remote control; below that is the fuse; and on the bottom is the power cable.
5. The power cable is 6′ long
6. The remote control has a 10′ long cable. On the remote control, there is a light on top with an on/off switch on the bottom.
7. According to the specs, the container in the fog machine can hold 1 pint of juice.
8. To create fog, fill the tank with juice, plug in the machine, in about 4 minutes the light on the remote control will light up, signaling the machine is hot enough to use. Press and hold the spring loaded on/off switch will release fog from the nozzle.
9. When the juice is heated up, you can release 40 seconds of fog before it need to reheat the element again, which takes about 3 minutes.
10. I have filled half the tank with juice, it lasted me for a good hour of use.
Get the best fog juice for your machine. Some fog juice is designed to dissipate quickly to fill a stage area with clouds so lights and lasers can be seen better. Other formula’s of fog juice are designed to say on the ground for spooky graveyard like effects. These effects are typically better with more expensive fog machines that include a chilling element (ice bin) to create cold air to keep the fog low on the ground.
Keep in mind that when photographing fog or smoke say from a extinguished candle, incense burner or even cigar smoke or vapor from an e-cigarette, the lighting makes a big difference.
Flash strobes will freeze the smoke or fog while a long exposure will even it out.The following images were created with smoke from a incense and studio strobe lights.