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Tips & Tricks

Earth, Wind & Fire: Using Various Elements to Add Creativity to Your Shots [COOPH]

By Hanssie on January 20th 2016

The Leica X-U was announced today, and just in time, our friends at COOPH released a fun video showing us some creative ways to use the elements in our photography while using the newest underwater offering from Leica.

Using natural elements (like water, fire, wind, and synthetic elements like powder and bubbles), can help us make some pretty cool images. Pye shared in this article how he likes to use a cheap Spray Bottle filled with water which he mists on the front of his lens to create some pretty amazing bokeh and interesting light effects in his images.

There are so many effects you can do with various elements, and the video below will show you how they use seven different elements. Photographer Leo Rosas begins with colored powder and makes fun poofs of colored clouds around his subject. This effect reminds me of the popular color runs where people throw colored powder on you while you run a 5k. I’ve never done it, but the photos look cool.

Another element Leo shows us is fire. Fire always makes a cool effect (or rather, a hot effect), but just be careful when playing with it. The method shown also utilizes a mirror and lighter fluid in a studio. Please let me stress again to use caution – don’t end up on the news trying this one!

The video shows five more elements and my favorite of the seven is putting your camera on a tripod and using a merry-go-round to create images like this:


Watch the video for all the fun ideas and be sure to follow COOPH and Leo Rosas for more inspiration and ideas!

COOPH – Cooperative of Photography:



Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Unknown Unknown

    The title should be: How to destroy your lens and camera for dummies. For example:

    1) Blow colored dust/bubbles against the lens.
    2) Throw a lot of half melted ice over your camera.
    3) Hold your camera very close to fire.
    4) Put your camera into a puddle.

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    • Hanssie

      Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do for a cool shot? In any case, the Leica X-U is waterproof and I am going to assume sealed pretty darn well. I wouldn’t try this with my Fuji X-T1 that’s for sure…but my old Rebel from 2008? Heck yes!

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