How to Reduce Smoke or Fog in Photos

Ooky Spooky album cover
Image via Wikipedia

Voltaire is an awesome performer. I booked him before just to hear Ooky Spooky before it came out. At the time, he had very few good promotional photos.

When he came back to Pittsburgh with Hellbikini two blocks from my house, I went to take photos of Voltaire for Creative Commons, thus fixing the problem. I would have stayed for the entire show, except Derek Zanetti, Otis Wolves, Shady Ave and I would later have the cops called for being too Rockimus Prime at 1am.

Original Image

The Rex Theatre in Pittsburgh is horrible for photography. A fog machine makes it even worse. I know fog machines are goth… or punk… or raver-ific… and they’re just annoying.

Before you use a fog machine, please consider the following:

  1. You will breathe better without one.
  2. Fog machines and smoke ruin pictures.
  3. People can actually see you without one. (Might not be a good thing.)

How to Reduce Smoke or Fog in Photography

Photoshopped (1) :: Onone Phototune 3, Aperture

Decrease brightness. Increase Contrast. In Phototune, add ~ 20 to clarity and punch. Back in Photoshop or Aperture, you will lower the saturation around 5%.

Photoshopped (2) :: Silver Efex Pro, Photoshop

Dark is goth. Real goth. Essentially, you’re going to desaturated the image. I used Silver Efex Pro to make the image pop by controlling different areas independently.

Remember kids, smoking isn’t goth unless it’s with cloves.

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