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Shoot: Fog and Spray Effects

Lesson 25 from: Incredible Engagement Photography

Pye Jirsa

Shoot: Fog and Spray Effects

Lesson 25 from: Incredible Engagement Photography

Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

25. Shoot: Fog and Spray Effects

Summary (Generated from Transcript)

In this lesson, the instructor demonstrates how to create fog and spray effects in engagement photography using backlighting and an aerosol fog spray. He explains how fog can add a dreamy and moody look to images and demonstrates the different effects achieved by adjusting the flash power, aperture, and shutter speed. The instructor also discusses the flash duration and how it can affect motion blur. He emphasizes the importance of experimenting and practicing to achieve the desired results.


  1. What effect does fog create in engagement photography?

    Fog creates a dreamy and moody look in engagement photography.

  2. How does fog affect light?

    Fog allows light to bounce in every direction, creating a wrap-around effect.

  3. What are the factors that affect the shape of the light emitted by the flash?

    The height and angle of the flash, as well as its position in relation to the subjects, can affect the shape of the light emitted.

  4. How can the flash power, aperture, and shutter speed be adjusted to achieve desired effects?

    Adjusting the flash power, aperture, and shutter speed can help control the exposure and freeze motion in the scene.

  5. What is flash duration and how does it affect motion blur?

    Flash duration refers to the amount of time the flash is on. A longer flash duration at higher flash power can result in motion blur in the image.

  6. How can the use of fog and spray be combined to create different effects?

    By adjusting the settings of the flash, aperture, and shutter speed, photographers can achieve various effects with fog and spray, such as freezing motion or creating a soft and dreamy look.


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Posing Guidance for Him


Posing Guidance for Her


Foundational Posing


Posing Touch Points


Couples Body Language


Posing Three Point Check


Posing Tips with Demo


Lesson Info

Shoot: Fog and Spray Effects

What we're gonna do, guys, is this happens a lot, whenever clouds roll in, if you're on the beach, on the ocean, get that mist that kind of rolls in, or even if you're close to the spray of the water, those crashing waves, and you see mist and stuff in the air, backlight, backlight, backlight, backlight. That's like the coolest effect that you're gonna get in that kind of a scene. You can shoot close. You can shoot wide. You can do a whole lot of things. Now I want to show you, now that we did that backlight scene, just so we can have a comparison of what we've done so far, let's put down some fog here, backlight it, just so you can see what the fog allows you to do. We use fog on a lot of our sets, especially for commercial stuff. We'll do it occasionally for engagement, when we want to create a real dreamy look to an image, but what it does is it opens up the light. If you imagine light bouncing through fog, the light kind of hits fog and it bounces in every direction. It goes all ar...

ound. It's like a happy party, and stuff. So what happens is, if you have fog all sprayed in the room, and somebody's standing in it, and I fire the flash behind you, that flash will actually wrap through the fog and onto your face. Isn't that kind of cool? So, it was cool just me just pointing my finger doing it. When you see it in real life, it's even cooler. Okay, so, what we'll do is we'll put down some atmospheric aerosol. (spraying) And I think, it's an aerosol, so it can be a little flammable, which is why we separated the sparkler in this effect, and one of these cans, I think, goes forever. It's non-toxic. It's all good. Uh, hairspray, no. It wouldn't hang in the air like this, but it would light on fire probably better than this would. (laughter) Okay, good enough. Let's put you guys up front. Let's drop a flash behind you, if you want to just pop one of those. Let's use the blue, just so we can show them. One of the things that looks kind of cool, if you want to simulate night time, so, what we did earlier was we simulated sunlight, right, by using warming gels. You can simulate nighttime effects by cooling down your cameras wet, white balance and then firing without gels. Let's place it a little bit behind them. Go behind them, and face it towards them. Go all the way to the wall, too. And then, guys scoot this way a little bit. Oh, I wanted to show you guys one other thing, too. One more thing, go this way. A little right, perfect. Move the light. Alright, let's get our settings. I'm using my live view. We're going to take my kelvin down to like, let's go to 1/4000 of a second. Okay. Should we go, we're gonna go up to F2 as well. Is that flash off? Can you turn that guy off? (click) What is this? You can't even see it with your eyes, right? This is why I wanted to show it to you, because when you go to the beach, and you shoot, it's very difficult to see with your eyes, but the camera can see it very, very well. So if you see just a little bit of this haze at the beach, put them together and be like (laughter) Okay? Okay. So, lean your heads towards each other, guys, perfect. Let me get in tight. I'm gonna go to, can I go to an 85, actually? I don't like shooting tighter than, I like kind of, if I go from like a hip crop, or like a thigh crop, or a calf crop that fine on 50 millimeter. If I get close, I don't like using 50. It'll create too much distortion. Lean your heads into each other, eyes closed. Perfect. Tilt the chin down just a little bit on Danielle's side. Perfect, that's great. Danielle, brush all the hair to your back. Perfect guys, right there. Hold that. (click) So, watch this now. That whole light wrap thing? Do you see how the light came through and it wrapped onto this side of the face and around this side? It looks like an almost moody, nighttime shot, because we're dropping the color temperature down so low. Notice, like I mean, I placed the flash in these positions for you guys. When you guys go out and do this stuff, you need to practice a little bit. Look at how chiseled the line is, like here. We don't have edges to the line that are thicker in certain places than others. It's very, kind of defined. There's a little fly away here. This isn't a big deal. If you don't fix this in camera, that's a really easy post fix, but still, if you see it mine as well fix it, right? But if I did have that, it wouldn't be the end of the world. The other stuff, like she has a bunch of hair coming through, and it looks like a beard, that'll take you 10 minutes to fix, and 20 minutes to fix in post. So, guys, go for a kiss. I'm getting tight. Do a couple tight shots. Oh, I like that smile. (click) Perfect. Ohh. I want each other smiling again. (clicks) Is that not cool? Boom. Boom! Right? What's up? Then you can just do the, okay no flash. Oh, that's actually a good example, right here. Go from this, see how, remember when we were talking about light wrap? Do you notice when the flash didn't fire, look at the cheek on this side. See how much brighter it is right there, verses right here? That's the light wrapping around the front of the thing. Spray time, dude. They said no fire and water, or fire and fog, but we can do water and fog. Okay, brush all the hair, I was gonna like do it for you. Get your, no, I may not do that. Brush all the hair, go for a kiss, guys. Okay, perfect, just like that. Stop blowing in her mouth, that's weird. (laughter) And then, spray. How wet is that? (laughter) (clicks) Okay, relax. Our flash wasn't firing. We're at 1/2 power. You saw how slow the recycle was. Okay, this actually gives me a perfect opportunity to talk about something else. What is this? I wasn't even planning on talking about this, so that's fantastic. What is this? What is that? (laughter) You're like chewing on his beard, or something. I would, too. I don't blame you at all. I would totally chew on that thing. (laughter) Alright, what is this? The water. But why is it long> Motion blur. Motion blur from what? I mean, I'm at 1/200 of a second. What's the blur coming from? Flash duration. Who said flash duration? Simon! He's been in my workshop before. Mmm. Boom! Boom! I'm gonna boom it for ya. That's the flash duration that we're talking about. What's happening, is that at 1/2 power, so we didn't mention this yet, we talked about the flash duration when we were shooting at 1/16, 1/32, 1/64 power on a flash like that, you're duration is maybe 1/4,000 of a second, 1/8,000 of a second, 1/12,000. It's fast. The higher the power that you go, the more time it takes. Because, what the flash is actually doing, if you were to slow that thing down, we actually show you in lighting 101, we actually slow it down so you can see it pulsing. The flash goes like this, it ramps up, boom, this is when you see it fire, and then it tails off. It's a curve, okay? So, at full power, that cycle takes about 1/200 of a second, 1/250 of a second, that whole cycle. So, at full power, you have a long flash duration. That light is actually on for a long period of time, and that's why you see it go ramp up, and it pops right there, where you get that big bright thing, and it trails off as it gets dimmer. Okay? So, when you see that, and you don't want that effect, what do we do? (answers) And then in combination, we're gonna tweak a couple other things. Yup. So, I'm gonna go like this, I'm gonna go to, let's think for a second. What affects our flash verses our ambilight? Flash is affected by aperture, ISO, and flash power. Ambilight is affected by shutter, aperture, and ISO. So, if I bump ISO, I'm affecting both flash and ambilight. I'm already at 1/200 of a second, okay? So, what I need to do is get this guy back out. This is the only way I can keep the shutter, keep it dark enough, okay? Now I want to take this flash power down to like, say, let's go down to maybe 1/16, so that's from 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16. Sorry, how many numbers was that? That's three, right, three stops? Full quarter, eighth, sixteenth, three stops. Okay, so we bumped ISO by one stop. I'm now going to open my aperture by one stop. This is four stops. I'm gonna slow down my shutter by four stops, or sorry, by two stops. This is like a bunch of weird stuff. Just take a photograph, if it doesn't come out right, just adjust it, okay? (laughter) Alright, that should get it to the right time. I'm gonna take a shot without the a, perfect. Okay, here's the back flash with no fog. Look at how big of a difference that is. Do you see how the light doesn't wrap anymore? We need to fog it up. ♪ Fog it up. ♪ ♪ Umph, umph, umph. ♪ Let's get it all clubby in here. Can we put on some club beats? (laughter) Can you guys move, please? I don't want to spray it all over your hair. Yeah, I know you want to do this, but you don't get to. (laughter) More is better, right, for fog? Isn't that the rule? This has, I haven't even touched like hardly anything in the can, yet. Alright, that was way too much fog. Okay, pull each other in. Oh, yeah. Go for that almost kiss. Uh huh. And, lay down some water. I said almost kiss, guys. (clicks) Relax. Did you lay down the water? Oh, there's the water. Okay, let's do spray. Spray, spray, spray. It didn't look like it was coming out on the other ones. Okay, so what I'm going to do, since I actually like my aperture F2, I think it looked a little bit better at F2, so I'm going to dial this up. I'm going to go up to 1/400 of a second. I'm going to go to F2. I want to take a second, just take a quick little test shot. Let's get our, there we go, that looks better. You good? Okay. A little tight. Okay, perfect, go for that kiss guys. (clicks) perfect, relax. Do we have water spraying? You didn't say spray. It didn't spray? You didn't say spray. Oh, my bad. We need more fog anyway. (laughter) Take a fog break. I got to say, "Spray," don't I? I'm the worst. The worst. I don't know whether as a communicator, not a good communicator I'm a good sprayer. While you're doing that, tell people what the can is. Atmosphere aerosol, guys. Atmosphere aerosol Atmosphere aerosol, guys. Does the position of the flash, whether it's horizontal or vertical, effect the shape of the light emitted behind the couple, especially when You zoom? Absolutely. So this is kind of tipped towards them, towards their heads, and so it's angled that way because we don't, there's a couple things that are really going to affect the shape of the flash. One is the height, and where the fat flash is coming from. One is the angle of how it's facing the couple. And the other is the position in relation to the couple. So as you bring the flash closer, it's gonna, we say bloom. It blooms where it wraps around the face more. If you take it further back, it defines the edges of the face. So, as you bring it closer, it's gonna wrap. As you take it back, it's going to define. As you point it up and down, you're either gonna hit the subjects from underneath, or you're gonna hit them from above. So you'll notice if you hit someone from underneath, the way it defines the chin and face is going to be a little different than going from above, where it's gonna not create as much of an edge across the face. So, those are the things you want to play with, when you're doing this affect. I think that has slowed down enough, that we should be able to lay some down. I know, yeah. I don't want to take that away from you. I know, right? I was all sad when you volunteered. I'm like, "I kind of like doing it." Where are you putting that water? Just give me a spray. Let me just see it. (laughter) It's not hitting me. Oh, that's why. It's not going far enough. Give it more pumps. I wasn't even getting any. (pumping) And then, it needs to come up here. That's good. I like that. (laughter) Great, perfect, solid. Alright, this should be good. I don't even think that's a quarter of a can yet. Let's just give it a quick test shot, just to make sure we're all good on this side. There we go. Now we got our foggy fog. Okay. And spray. Go for the kiss. (clicks) Perfect, relax. Ohh, that's cute. (laughter) I likey. Okay. Pretty? Cute, aww. He's still blowing. Why are you blowing like that? That's weird. (laughter) Alright I'm just kidding. That's perfect. Let's leave it off of the blue one. Let's go for this one. Yeah, that's cute. Any questions? By the way, we slowed down the shutter there to 1/50 of a second. Notice how these are still little beads of water? Because the ambilight's not affecting these guys. It's the shutter speed that varied, the flash that's affecting these guys. That's why I know I can drop down my shutter speed down low. As long as I don't shake my camera, I'm gonna get a usable image out of it. So we use the flash to freeze the motion, the scene. Because that was the momentary of that light.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Pre-Shoot Videos
Keynote 1
Keynote 2
Presets Installation Guide
Gear Guide
Favorite Software
Lightroom Presets

Ratings and Reviews

CPR Photography

I think Pye Jirsa is one of the best, if not the best, instructor for photography on Creative Live. He is very personable, smart and approachable. He has a perfect blend of personality (comments, laughs, tangents..) to the amount of instruction. He asks the questions for you, because he knows you are thinking those questions right then. He's very good about identifying settings, gear, etc.. and not leaving us in the dark about how he "got the shot". He goes into great detail. His instructions flow, but are linear, which is helpful. He's very organized, and you can tell that he really put a lot of work into his presentations (slides, video, test shoots, live teaching, graphics, etc..) I have been listening to him for like 10 hours straight, and still haven't gotten tired of him. He keeps things moving, He's very funny too. Nice job, I've learned so much. :)

a Creativelive Student

This course was AMAZING. I'd say int he past year or two I've fallen into a slump. Uninspired by my surroundings and uninspired by my clients. As a result, it showed through my work. My posing suffered as well and more than a handful of times some of my shoots became more than awkward. Then I bought this course and watched most of it in the course of a day. I walked away inspired, blown away, and renewed. The next day I walked into an engagement session confident. I gave my couples a quick overview on posing and then we just had fun in front of the camera. Immediately afterwards they texted me about how amazing their shoot was and how relaxed I made them feel about posing. The photos turned out fantastic to say the least. I've since shot several more engagement sessions and each one of them has been amazing. If anything, this course should inspire photographers to think outside the box and provide you with the necessary skills to take incredible engagement photos. Thank you Pye and Creative Live! I cannot speak more highly of this course. I should also state I purchased Pye's Natural Light course on SLR Lounge: this course is a wonderful addition to that. If you already own the natural light course and are hesitant about purchasing this one, don't. Buy it and reap the benefits!


This is by far one of the best courses I have taken. Pye makes learning fun and easy to understand. I feel like I have learned so much throughout the course, that I have truly advanced my photography skills. I am so excited to get out there and try so many of the techniques that he showed. I would love to take another course of his. The pricing for the course doesn't even compare to how wonderful the education truly is, I really got more than my money's worth on this one.

Student Work