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The Ultimate Guide to Smoke Bomb Photography

The Ultimate Guide to Smoke Bomb Photography

As a photographer, you always want to click some extraordinary pictures, and one of the ways to click amazing pictures is by using a smoke bomb for photography. Photographers start using smoke bombs for photography a few years back and since then its gaining popularity. In this article, you are going to learn smoke bomb photography ideas, tips, and tricks. So without further ado, let’s get started. 

 Best smoke bomb for photography

Best smoke bomb for photography: 

Many companies are selling smoke bombs in the market and the question arises which is the best smoke bomb for photography? Well, it depends on your requirements according to the shoot. Below are some factors you need to consider before buying smoke bombs. 

The first factor is smoke duration. Smoke bombs work between 20 and 90 seconds, and you can select them according to the duration you required. The second factor is fog density, if you are planning for a foggy effect, you need less density but if you need opaque coverage, you may go for more density. 

The third factor is ignition, some smoke bombs require a lighter or matchstick to start, and some come with a ring or string that you need to pull to start. The second one is more convenient, but it’s more costly. The fourth factor is the number of vents. There are two types of bombs, single vent, and double vent. Double vents release smoke from both sides but usually last for less time. 

Smoke bomb photography ideas

Another factor is the color of the smoke and the last factor is the cost, which is a critical factor. Consider all these factors before buying the smoke bomb. If you are planning to use smoke bombs in multiple shoots, buy in bulk, so you can get some bulk discounts and save on shipping costs too. One more benefit of bulk buying is that you’ll have some extra bombs during the shoot. Sometimes things don’t go according to plan, and that time extra smoke bombs could be a lifesaver. 

Smoke bomb photography ideas: 

Smoke bombs can be used for all kinds of portrait photography. You may use it during wedding photography, pre-wedding photography, family shoots, maternity shoots, and gender reveals shoots. You can also create self-portraits with smoke bombs. 

For variety, use smoke bombs as a background in some pictures, or use multiple smoke bombs together. In some shots, put the smoke bomb inside props like a bird cage, carved pumpkin face, or a lantern and have your model hold it. You are an artist, use your imagination, and you can come up with many ideas. 

Smoke bomb photography tips

Smoke bomb photography tips: 

  1. Plan your shoot like the location, and dress of your model so that you can choose the color of the smoke bomb accordingly. If you are planning a gender reveal shoot, you need to buy pink and light blue color smoke bombs. 
  1. Check the weather of your shoot day. Make sure there are no chances of rain or heavy wind on that day. If it’s raining on that day, your shoot will be ruined. On a windy day, the smoke will dissipate quickly, and you may not get the desired results. 

Weather of Your Shoot Day

  1. Take some test shots before the actual shoot, so you know everything about the smoke bomb, like how long it lasts, when it starts to give proper smoke and the density of the smoke. You’ll also know if it gets hot or not, so you can tell your model about it. You may also check the effect of different shutter speeds on smoke and set it for the shoot accordingly. 
  1. Safety of your model is your responsibility. Your model can’t wear gloves and safety glasses during the shoot, so make sure that they hold them properly. Also tell them to point it away from their body, especially the face. Make sure they are not allergic to smoke. If it’s a maternity shoot, be extra careful. Keep a fire extinguisher or water nearby, and dispose of used smoke bombs properly. 
  1. Smoke may stain your model’s clothes, so make sure that they hold it away from their clothes. If you are shooting for a clothing brand or your model is wearing her own dress, tell them beforehand and avoid shooting expensive clothes with smoke bombs. 

Smoke may stain your model’s clothes

  1. Shooting with a smoke bomb is legal in most places, but make sure to check local laws about fireworks. Get all the necessary permissions and avoid shooting in the public area. The dense smoke may cause a problem for other people. If you are shooting indoors, make sure that the place is properly ventilated. 
  1. Before you pull the ring or ignite the smoke bomb, make sure everything is set. All camera settings are proper, the focus is proper, your model is properly posed, and there is no distraction in the background. Once the smoke bomb goes on, you’ll get a very limited time window, so make proper use of it. Smoke bombs usually start giving proper smoke after 5-10 seconds, so keep that in mind too. 

Shooting with a smoke bomb is legal in most places

  1. As soon as it started giving proper smoke, start taking multiple shots. Sometimes your model pose is perfect but the face hides behind the smoke, sometimes the face is perfect, but the hand position is not good. In such a case, if you have multiple shots, you can fix these problems during post-processing.   
  1. Use multicolor bombs together for a different effect. You may attach 2-3 bombs with duct tape, or use two different color bombs to make a double vent smoke bomb. Instruct your model to make a smoke trail and then hold it and pose. 
  1. Lighting is the key to photography. Since smoke is opaque, so we need a lot of light to pop the colors. Use sunlight or flash to illuminate the smoke. Use backlight to create a dramatic effect. 


Take impossible photos by turning your camera into a high-speed capture device!

  1. If you take a self-portrait, MIOPS Smart+ can be a good friend for you. It’s the best camera gadget for capturing self-portraits. You may control your camera using your mobile or use its sound or laser mode to click the picture at the perfect moment. 

Use multicolor bombs together

So, here are some tips and smoke bomb photography ideas. Search the internet, buy some smoke bombs and start clicking some wonderful pictures. All the best.

About the Author

Ramakant Sharda is an author, iOS App publisher, passionate photographer and a MIOPS Ambassador based in the beautiful “Pink City” of India, known as Jaipur. His work has been published in various magazines, newspapers, and blogs. He has published three Coffee Table Books, he writes about photography and also teaches photography in his workshops. Check out his website http://ClickManic.com to see the masterpieces created by him or download his free app for iPhone and iPad “30 Days to an Ace Photographer“.

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