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November 1st Means Fire Sales on Fog Machines

It's that time of year again -- Halloween is almost in the books and anyone who sells those cheapo novelty fog machines will be pretty much giving them away tomorrow morning.

They only start out at about $30, were in the low $20's by today and soon will be about ten bucks. The fog juice will be cheap, too.

They don't work too great (they tend to gum up eventually) but at $10, if they smoke up good for even one shoot it is pretty hard to lose on that deal.

How to Make This Photo

Pictured above is one of about 20 decorations at the home of our next-door neighbors, Mark and Prissy. (Our block really gets into Halloween. The kids come from far and wide to check out the creepiness and gorge themselves on candy.)

The only added light for this was one small flash—a Nikon SB-800—placed at her feet. The ambient light, a sodium vapor street light, was coming from behind. The haze from the cheap Halloween fogger helped to spread and refract the light in the area around the ghoul. (Which is what makes them awesome for standard portraiture, too. Here are two examples.)

I exposed for the fogged backlight (about 1/4 second) and the flash on the ground lit our calendar ghoul from the front. The streaks were caused by zooming during the exposure. You'll get better results if you (a) zoom from wide to tele, and (b) start zooming just before you press the shutter.



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