Monday, 10 November 2008


I have been wanting to take some images of smoke for quite some time and just never seem to get round to it. I have seen quite a few photographs by others of smoke and they look very intriguing.
The smoke often looks similar to coloured liquid in water with the patterns that it makes.

So I tried taking the images a couple of different ways.
First I tried using a lamp to highlight the smoke. This didn't work too well. The lamp wasn't bright enough or as concentrated as I needed it to be causing the background to light up and discolour.
I would have tried with my flash gun, but I don't have an IR trigger for it or an off camera cable as the light needed to come from behind the smoke towards the camera slightly. At a shutter speed of 1/125, it was unlikely that I could set the flash off at exactly the right time while taking the photograph.

So, I gave in and used one of my studio flashes. Maybe a bit excessive, but it worked so I'm not complaining.

I edited several different versions of the final images and preferred the ones where I had inverted the colours, making the background white. I felt the smoke stood out better against a lighter background once it had been coloured.

Very simple technique but effective. Below is my favourite image.

Blue Smoke

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Photographer based in Dawlish, Devon. I'm available for weddings, portraits and commissions.

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