ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Colorful Portraits with Powder Paint

Updated on July 9, 2015
LuisEGonzalez profile image

I enjoy photography and have been doing so professionally and independently for over 30 years.

Used by permission
Used by permission | Source

There are many ways to enhance a photography portraits. From creative makeup, creative garments to using dry powder paint. In the later case dry powder is literally thrown at the model while the photographer snaps the picture.

This can often be a trial and error practice since you will probably need to repeat the process of throwing the powder a few times before you get usable results.

Before you start getting ideas that you would like to conduct this particular theme be aware that you need a large enough space where you can function properly. This includes the model, an assistant, space for your flash units or lights and for you.

You may also need tarps to cover nearby structures or items that you want to keep free of paint dust but this is often not needed if you uses an open space.

The best scenario would be to do this at night in an open area like an indoor garage or even a basketball court. Don't worry because this dry powder paint is biodegradable and washes off quite easily.

There are quite a few "recipes" for doing your own dry powder paint or you can buy some specifically meant for the activity. If you go commercial and buy your own, start by doing a search for Holi festival paint. A 10 pack can run about $20.

This is what is typically used in the Holi festival in India and it is usually made from 100% natural materials such as rice flour and spices. But if you want to do your own you will need flour/cornstarch and food coloring.

Simply mix cornstarch/flour with food coloring and water, use a blender to get them to mix real well. Let this dry at room temperature for about 2-3 days. Once the mixture is dry enough, preheat the oven to about 180 or 300 degrees, shut the oven off, place the mixture in the oven (on a baking dish) and let stand with the oven door slightly open for about 30 minutes.

This will get rid of any remaining moisture since the mixture needs to be completely dry before you use it. Any mixture that has some moisture in it will more than likely be sticky and hard to wash off.

After the mixture is completely dry, run the mix through your blender again to get a fine mixture.

You can also use sidewalk chalk sticks and crush them to a fine powder but many of these chalks might not be so environmentally friendly as the cornstarch/flour mix.

Edit to comply with TOS
Edit to comply with TOS | Source

Your setup includes at least three light sources; two to illuminate the back of the model and serve to backlight the powder and one for the model which is placed slightly to one side and in front.

Make sure to provide a garment for the model so she or he won't use their own.

Although most photographers like to use a prime lens in the range of 55mm to 80mm, I like to use a zoom so that I can stay far away from the model and avoid getting the paint dust on the lens and camera.

Willing to try this?

See results

The whole idea is to capture the moment when the powder paint hits the model and bursts in all directions.

Simply photographing a model with paint dust is not enough.

The project gets its "excitement" from the effect of the powder paint crashing into the model and its secondary burst of colors.

Have the assistant stand to the back and side of the model and "trow" the dry paint. Using hands works fine but better if your assistant uses both hands to hold a cup in each and throws them (the powder not the cups...lol) at the same time. Make sure to crop the image to avoid capturing the assistant.

This is the easiest way and works just as well as any other mechanical methods.

Besides doing this project for personal reason, keep in mind that these photos can enhance your portfolio, be used for clients who want something different and for photo related publications.

Another good posing method is to have the model shake her hair like in some of the photos and video shown here.

There are many reasons to photograph but doing so just for the sake of doing so is just as good as any other reason.

The idea is to have fun doing something that you like and learning new techniques and ways along the way of capturing images that are out of the ordinary.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ Edited to comply with TOS
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ Edited to comply with TOS | Source

As you will see in the link following the body of the article you do not need to uses dry powder paint at all. If you want you can use talcum powder. It works just as well, it's safe, biodegradable and low cost.

The only drawback is that it comes in only one color but if you don't mind this is an excellent alternative to other colored mixtures. By the way, flour works well too!

One simpler way of doing the technique is to "bathe" the model in the mixture regardless of what it's composed of, especially on the hair, and have her jump or make brisk movements like dancing and so on.

Make sure that she is posed against a dark backdrop and that you have at least two photo lamps; one as a backlight and one to one side and front of your model.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ | Source

© 2015 Luis E Gonzalez

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • LuisEGonzalez profile imageAUTHOR

      Luis E Gonzalez 

      3 years ago from Miami, Florida

      alancaster149: Thank you. Yes that shot is great and you really could do it almost anywhere that is open or if you don't mind getting dry powder on it. It is also a great fit for things like dance or even sport figures.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 

      3 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Dramatic stuff, Luis. This is pure theatre, isn't it. You'd need a David Bailey or Terence Donovan for it to really work well. (I wouldn't even start, although as I said it's dramatic).

      l Iike the black girl with the (white or silver) powder backlit against the black background. The sort of thing you could do in front of an open garage door - if you had a garage.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)