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Editor's Pick

How To Photograph Smoke

by Vikram Singh
Vikram Singh
June 3, 2014
Editor's PickHot!Original

Smoke Photography is easy and fun to will definitely get amazing smoke arts once you try don’t have to travel or go outside to try it.
best thing is that you can enjoy smoke photography in your room..
following are the things which are required to perform smoke photography.

1). Camera with kit lens or any other lens will do.
2). one light source (flash or strobe)
3). Black background (use any black piece of cloth)
4). Incense to create smoke

first of all you need to make a good set up.. set the black background and then you need a base to place incense.
Do not place incense very close to the background because light will fall on the background and it will be exposed as well.
keep some distance like minimum one meter. so that light doesn’t fall on background because we need pure black background to highlight the set the flash/strobe either on right or left side facing towards the incense.Try to keep light source’s face off from the background.

I used my small ventilated room using a black background cloth. for base, i used a table and used dhoopstick with its stand (see in before image)..Dhoopstick is just like incense sticks but they are much thicker which makes more smoke than incense sticks.

Now your set up is ready.Before burning the incense stick make sure the area/room is ventilated..otherwise, room will get filled with smoke and it may effect you and your photography equipment .set flash/strobe output at half power and turn the camera mode on manual (do not use any other mode like Av, Tv, p). set shutter speed like 1/125 or 1/160 so that you don’t get a shaky or blur shot.

If you are aware of ‘Flash sync speed’ you must know that flashes/strobes can support camera shutter speeds upto 1/160 or 1/250 there are some flashes/strobes which have ‘hi-speed’ features  it can support camera shutter speeds upto 1/4000 or 1/8000 which is very useful for sports,action and high speed photography..try different aperture between f5.6- f8 and keep ISO 100 so that you don’t get grainy image. 




Thats all, after shooting you can paint your selected images in photoshop,lightroom or any other online photo editing softwares..just select brush tool with any desired color 
and move it on the smoke..
Colored smoke images will definitely look more creative and beautiful..



To create interesting designs and shapes of smoke you can use spoon or blow the smoke a little so that it moves in all directions and makes unique designs.

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