Discover how to make smoke from milk

I am always on the lookout for interesting textures and patterns to photograph. Ask any photographer what they are looking at and it is sure to be creating a composition in their mind’s eye! Today I want to share some before and after images with you on how I created smoke from milk.

Smoke from milk

In the day job, I am a science technician. It was while setting up an experiment, that I got excited about my new photo project.

The experiment involved mixing milk with water to demonstrate how light appears to change colour during the day, depending on the angle it passes through the atmosphere.

It was when I started to pipette milk into the trough of water that my artist side got interested. The dense milk floated around in the less dense water, creating interesting patterns. It looked so pretty!

Creating the illusion of smoke

Once home I set about getting all the equipment I needed. I used a large glass fruit bowl, black material, water, milk, pipette and a tripod to mount my camera over the bowl.

I laid out the black material under the bowl, to allow the patterns to show more clearly. Next, I pre-focused my camera and set it to manual so that it didn’t change my focal point.

Finally, I slowly added the milk to the water and clicked away!

Finishing touches – liquid smoke

The final stage was to make the images more appealing. Due to the shape of the bowl, I was given a natural border. I used this to crop my images into circles.

I then blended out the black background using the blend if tool in Photoshop.

The colour was adjusted with the hue/saturation slider to create more impact.

Here are the final images:

Creating smoke from milk - an abstract photograph
Creating smoke from milk - an abstract photograph

Water photography

This is not the first time I have used water to produce photographs. You may recall my water drop images, which you can read more about by clicking the link.

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