Trying to shoot images of hot drinks can be frustrating. The steam rising from the beverage does not last long and it can be hard to accurately capture it in your image.
There are many tricks to getting that perfect steam, but most have the same problem as using an actual hot drink: the steam only lasts a short period of time, and is not reliable. Photographer Phillip McCordall put together this great tips video showing you exactly how to get around this, with some ingredients that you may not have guessed.
Using a mixture of hydrochloric acid and ammonia, you can easily create steam that not only lasts a long time, but looks great in an image. Special care must be taken when using this, of course, but it works well.
I always love finding old tricks like this. It is just one of those things to lock away in the memory for the next time I am shooting any sort of hot beverage and need some reliable steam. Just remember to bring some nose plugs, apparently this methods stinks to high heaven…
If you’d like to try another easy method to create smoke (and one that won’t smell up your entire studio), be sure to check out the new SLR Lounge Smoke Texture Pack.