Having seen some pretty cool smoke photos in the past I thought I'd give it a crack.

All these shots are just smoke rising off a single stick of incense with some lights around it. I started with white, then added coloured gels to the flashes, each pointing at different levels to provide the colour graduations. No brollies or diffusers and there is minimal post production involved. Just some basic brightness, contrast and sharpening.

If you want to see the setup, there's a link at the bottom. Click it only if you want the secret revealed :)

After playing around for a while, I was astonished at the shapes that emerged from freezing something that we normally see as random motion: tubes, folds and spirals. I even started seeing roses, female forms.. even a skeleton! All forms continuously at play around us and simply revealed by the smoke.

What do you see? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

After clicking an image, use the mouse wheel or left & right cursor keys to move through the images.


Setup photo 

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