Smoke photography in the studio

It’s always good to try something a little different in the studio occasionally and today was smoke photography.  Thanks to Patrick (@woolgar85 on instagram) for working with all my ideas.

Sometimes we forget to have some fun and book shoots just to be creative and play with new ideas.  I fall down this hole a lot! One of the reasons I set up the 2019 challenge. I decided to book a model and get shooting in the studio. The initial idea was to just play with lighting setups, starting my usual one light and then bringing in other lights as we went along.

Somehow (not sure I remember why) we got onto the subject of smoke.  I had wanted to bring smoke into a shoot for a while, but just never had the chance to do it.  It didn’t take a lot of encouragement for me to go and get the smoke grenade I had to use and set up the below shot.

I learnt a lot from doing this and for my next smoke photography shoot:
1. The grenades last a lot longer than you think they will.
2. Check what colour the grenade is (because I had no idea).
3. if using a grenade you may need to move it around a bit otherwise the smoke goes in one direction.  (wonder if I could buy something I can pull on string to make it move).
4. The smoke stays around for a while so only do it in open spaces and towards the end of the shoot.
5.  Make sure you have more than one smoke grenade otherwise the pressure is on!

Lights…. I used two elinchrom 400 ELB Quadra Packs.  On both sides of the model I had a 130 x 50 Elinchrom Stripbox either side the model.  Behind the model was another quadra head with 18cm reflector dish pointing up a little to catch and light the smoke (I had no idea what colour it would be at this point).  You can see the set up in the image below.  I also had a cup to put the smoke grenade into.

Behind the scenes, Smoke portrait, smoke photography, Elinchrom

Next Test the Lighting, with one smoke grenade it needed to be right first time.  Even more so because I had no clue how long this would last!!

Smoke photography set up, smoke photography, male model, studio lighting

Next up….. queue the smoke…..

Smoke photography, smoke portrait, smoke and studio lighting, studio lighting, male photography Smoke photography, smoke portrait, smoke and studio lighting, studio lighting, male photography

If you are interested here is a short video from the shoot:  WARNING THERE IS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY!!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *