The smoke looks mysterious in the picture and always attracts attention. Taking such a picture is a simple task. You need a tripod and an external flash for this.

The best way is to take pictures of the smoke at night or in a dark room, in order not to have light. The light must be only that, which you will use for shooting a certain scene.

So, for shooting the smoke you will need:

  • It will be better to choose something black – a cardboard or a cloth.
  • External flash.
  • If you don`t have a special reflector, you can use a surface that reflects light from the flash (for example, foil).
  • Aroma sticks.


A scene for the shooting

First, you have to fix the background.

On a stable surface you must anchor the aroma stick. Distance between the sticks and the wall shouldn`t be less than one meter.



Flash must be installed in such a way, that the light passes through the smoke at an angle, but doesn`t get in the background, for example, the right or the left from the sticks. You can just keep the flash in your hands.

In front of the flash you must put the flash reflector.

In order to achieve the best effect, you need to adjust the power of the flash and change its position relative to the smoke.


Camera settings

You must shoot in manual focus mode, because the level of light is low, and the camera won`t reach a focus in the auto mode.

After this, you should arrange ISO setting. It will be better to close the diaphragm to f / 8 - f / 11.

In order to focus the smoke, an excerpt must be within 1/125 - 1/160. This will help you not to receive a blurred photo.

You have to choose the exposure settings differently in each case. So, let`s experiment! 


Strange clouds

If the room doesn`t have an airflow, the smoke of the sticks will go up. In order to make the picture more interesting, you need a stream of the air.

You can make it due to a fan or try to attach to the tip of the stick an incombustible material. It will change the direction of the smoke and its amount.

You should control the amount of the smoke, because it can make photos inexpressive. Therefore, the room must be ventilated sometimes.

You must take quite a lot of photos, in order to choose the best one between them.



You can increase the contrast of the image, apply filters, change the color saturation and so on in different graphics programs.

You can also invert the colors (in Photoshop Image> Adjustments> Invert). This will give the effect of "light" smoke.

The smoke can be painted in different colors (Image> Adjustments> Hue & Saturation).

Due to the tool "Blend" you can receive the multicolor smoke.

Let`s shoot and experiment! We wish you to take successful pictures!