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Rob Wilton

top shot of boiling water - how to avoid fogging the lens

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Hey everyone,

I have an ad coming up where I have to shoot a top shot/bird's eye view of a large pot of boiled water, with the camera lens pointing directly down at the pan.

Of course the steam from the water will rise and fog the lens.

Does anyone have any tips that can help me to avoid fogging?

Using a longer lens a being higher up is out of the question as there is a slight jib move going up.

I thought of a hairdryer blowing the steam away before it hits the lens...

thanks for your help, any tips would help!

Rob Wilton / DoP

London based

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Hi Rob,

I'd use a small blower or hairdryer ( cold setting ! ) close to and blowing across the front of the lens - like a curtain of air to stop steam getting on the optics.


By having this set up, you shouldn't see the steam being blown out of the way.


John S :rolleyes:

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Blowing compressed air into the water via a tube is a good way to simulate boiling water. That's how it was done in Blade Runner with the boiled eggs in Sebastian's apartment.

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I had to do something like this once, with some food photography where the camera had to be in place over steaming mashed potatoes for a long time, and a hair dryer is a good tip. Don't forget that steam condenses on relatively cool surfaces. We used a piece of glass held in front of the mattebox, and heated it with a hair dryer between takes. We kept it pretty hot, and consequently, the steam didn't seem to have all that much tendency to condense on it.

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