Photographing Steam


The thought of photographing steam is sometimes much easier than actually accomplishing it.  The environment has to be just right.  After several attempts I was able to capture a slight show of steam only to then learn that to photograph steam you really need cooler temperatures.  It was 100 degrees the day I set out to accomplish my mission.  To prevent you from working backwards like I did, attempting, being less than successful, and then going on-line to research, I am going to tell you what you’ll need to be successful the very first time you attempt to photograph steam.

What you need to photograph steam:

Steam – of course.

Light – back lighting, or side lighting.

Temperature – cooler temperatures are better.

Background – dark background.

Air movement control – the slightest shift in air can result in the steam moving in a different direction or taking a different shape.  Sometimes this is beneficial.  Sometimes an aggravation depending on what you are trying to accomplish.

A few websites/blogs I found helpful:

Food Photography Blog - –

Photoink –

A few of my attempts, better images to come when cooler weather arrives.  Live and learn.  You have to start somewhere, right?

Afternoon tea with a cinnamon butterscotch scone.

Less steam than the first image. There was an air conditioning vent near the placement of the first subject.

Again, less steam, but I like the image.

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