Do you ever wish that you could master smoke bomb photography and be able to create amazing smoke bomb pictures just like those you see on the Internet? With the popularity of smoke bomb photography rising recently, many wedding photographers have started incorporating smoke bombs in their outputs because of its beautiful effects.
The vibrant smoke that is added to the photos can surely create a blast, whether you are taking landscape or portrait shots. It results in amusing effects, eye-catching background, and enhanced ambiance. For instance, smoke trails help emphasize movements during the shoot.
Choosing the Right Smoke Bomb
When selecting a smoke bomb for your shoots, the first thing you need to consider is safety. Also known by the names smoke grenades, colored smoke sticks, or smoke cans, the kind of smoke bomb used for photography must be not too hot to handle or else you would get burns. There are smoke bombs that are not meant to be held, those that must be set on the ground, so holding them will get the model’s hand burned.
Moreover, it is not advisable to purchase smoke bombs that simultaneously fire out at both ends. Although they give out much more smoke, they do not last as long as the ordinary smoke bombs, so you would be spending more for them.
Photo is taken by Jaroslav Noska using MIOPS.
Tips on Using Smoke Bombs for Your Photos
In order to get the best from your smoke bomb effects, make sure you know how to use such prop creatively, yet safely. Take a look at these tips, and see if they can be applied to your photography style:
1. Secure safety first.
The most basic rule when using this kind of prop in taking pictures is identifying the potential risks involving smoke bombs. For instance, the most dangerous type of smoke bomb is the one that needs to be lit on fire. If used nearby trees and dry grass, it can cause a fire. That is why you better use this kind in a paved place, and far from anything that could catch fire.
In addition, you need to be aware of the irritation that the smoke may cause to the eyes or throat. People around need to be made aware of its possible effects before usage.
Due to the risks involved, it is best to not use smoke bombs if you are photographing children or animals. It is also ideal to have some people to assist you to accomplish your smoke bomb photography smoothly as planned.
2. Plan your shots beforehand.
Planning your shots ahead of time is necessary since you have to work on them really quick. You cannot afford to be making many mistakes or you would be wasting money on your smoke bombs. The smoke would only last a bit, and you have to wait sometime again to be able to create enough dramatic smoky effect.
To avoid wasting time and money, see to it that you already have an end result in mind before the actual shooting. Plan out the process of each scene so it can be executed smoothly once you are in the production. Moreover, it is best if you practice the shots first without smoke bombs, so they can be perfected the moment you add the smoke.
3. Shoot in fine weather.
It is best if you shoot on a day with good, calm weather. A gentle breeze is fine since it may help highlight the smoke by directing it in slow currents. However, the stronger wind will make it hard for you to control the smoke in the scene, and worse, it can blow your colorful smoke away.
Moreover, shooting in a bright, sunny day can help you achieve a well-lit scene, which can accentuate the color of your smoke. If the weather for the day is not ideal, it is okay to cancel and reschedule the shoot. Just explain to your client how the weather can affect the quality of their photos.
4. Create a minimalist effect by using a black background.
To produce a modern and minimalist smoke bomb photo, use a background that will highlight your smoke grenade. A black background will do this job, as it will not make the colors of your smoke bomb blend into it. A black background will also be easier for you to edit in Photoshop if you need to adjust the size of your frame.
5. Use a smoke cloud for the background.
Creating a smoke cloud behind your model can result in an interesting background. The effect would be a dramatic smoke-filled backdrop with an enigmatic feel, especially that the smoke would be covering most of the original background.
To achieve this effect, instruct your model to pop some smoke behind him/her for several seconds. Then, before the smoke could vanish, s/he should be quick enough to make the pose or movement that you want him/her to do. This is one of the reasons why every scene should be planned ahead.
6. Enclose the smoke bomb in an object.
Another creative technique that maximizes smoke bomb is by using a prop in which you can put it. It could be a lantern, basket, birdcage, or anything that the model can hold. A colored smoke coming out from it is surely a mystical hit!
This technique is used by many photographers to make their pictures more interesting. The vibrantly-colored smoke that spreads out from the ordinary object can make magic in your photos.
7. Choose a camera with fast shutter speed.
Increased shutter speed will allow you to capture the puffs and other details of the smoke. Therefore, it is best if the shutter speed of your camera is within 1/800 and 1/2500. For balance, you must adjust the aperture and ISO as well.
8. Use a high-speed camera trigger.
One helpful device that can help you catch very quick details is the MIOPS Smart Camera Trigger. With its sensitive sensor, capturing fast-moving objects, including the quick changing smoke features, will be done more accurately. This high-speed photography device features advanced trigger modes, such as laser, lightning, and sound, which you can choose from.
Create a World of Fun
Overall, the smoke bomb has that artistic effect that turns any photo alive. The colorful mist that envelopes the scene creates that vibrant atmosphere, which adds life to the picture. Therefore, whether you are shooting for a wedding, or it is a simple photo shoot for a local magazine or your portfolio, always incorporate a touch of fun.
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