How to photograph smoke

Smoke234 stunning images of smoke taken by Graham Jefferey made rumours around the world of photography.
To get the best possible smoke to work with, Graham uses simple incense sticks known as Joss sticks, which can be purchased from most Chinese supermarkets and in every Chinatown anywhere in the world. Alternatively, any reasonably large incense stick should do the trick.
Once youve got the smoke, the rest is all down to freezing the motion, and getting the lighting right. “In my opinion,” explains Graham, “the key technical factor is to adequately light the smoke so that it stands out from the background.”
I want clean lines and shapes”, Graham explains. To do this, he shoots with a lot of light at a small aperture (and thereby a deeper depth of field). “This is very much easier to do if the smoke is allowed to rise naturally.” Once youre taking photos, its worth keeping in mind that you need to keep the room well-ventilated : “as the air fills up with the fog of dissipated smoke your pictures will be robbed of light, contrast and sharpness” – never mind your health, think of the photos!
Read this excelent article at photocritic.org .

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Laura

Laura

I started photography as a hobby in 2005, during college. My passion slowly became a more important part of my life since 2008. Because of using a combination of my photographic knowledge, with those of internet marketing, I like to call myself a "photomarketer".
Laura

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