Smoke Art Photography

For this post my photos were influenced by this link.  It gives a good explanation and good tips.  I did deviate from it some.  For example, I opted for a smaller aperture than suggested most of the time.  I also didn’t have any incense sticks which made it much more difficult and more unsuccessful.  More than anything, due to the relatively low amount of success I had, it essentially became a practice session on lighting.

First I set up a dark background and a candle.  I turned off the light and just started testing with different light settings.  I took a few test shots first before I started wasting matches.

IMG_8122 IMG_8123 IMG_8124

Then I let ‘er rip.  I killed the flame and snapped as many shots as possible.

IMG_8127 IMG_8128 IMG_8129

Did another test shot.


At this point I’m starting to worry I won’t get anything special after all this effort.

IMG_8131 IMG_8132 IMG_8133 IMG_8134 IMG_8135 IMG_8136

At this point I started playing with shutter speed, zoom, positioning, and light setting.  I took a few test shots.

IMG_8138 IMG_8139 IMG_8140 IMG_8141 IMG_8142

Pew, pew, pew goes the shutter.

IMG_8143 IMG_8144 IMG_8145 IMG_8146 IMG_8147 IMG_8148 IMG_8149

Did another few at a faster shutter speed, but I got black bars.  I read this article to make sure I understood the reason behind this, and I did, though it was beneficially to read either way.

IMG_8151 IMG_8152 IMG_8153

Now I try to get a little closer in to get more smoke detail.


IMG_8164 IMG_8165 IMG_8166 IMG_8167 IMG_8168 IMG_8169

Of course I do more test shots.

IMG_8170 IMG_8171

Fire, or not, as it maybe.

IMG_8172 IMG_8173 IMG_8174 IMG_8175 IMG_8176 IMG_8177 IMG_8178 IMG_8179

Now I have one last strategy—use three candles.

IMG_8180 IMG_8181 IMG_8182 IMG_8183 IMG_8184 IMG_8185 IMG_8186 IMG_8187 IMG_8188 IMG_8189 IMG_8190 IMG_8191 IMG_8192 IMG_8193 IMG_8194

These ended up being the only two I edited.  They looked the coolest.  The candle not within the frame was the only one that really worked for this failed experiment.  I was trying out the great DigiKam through this editing process.  It seems at least at the level of Darktable, though it is more multiple-functional than Darktable.  Now that I look at the processed shots, the contrast seems a little funky.  It seems that it removes detail.

IMG_8195_v1  IMG_8196_v1

The smoke fades away on this last shot.


I’d like to get some incense sticks to do this the better way.  I still had fun doing this, but not having much success just due to not having a large plume of smoke is irritating.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s