Smoke Ring - canon 20d w/85mm

I've been trying and trying to shoot smoke for ages now after being inspired by Myla's pics. This shot is still too grainy and not as sharp as it should be but it's my best attempt yet and so I'm posting it. I need to get a stronger light to highlight the smoke so I can shoot at lower ISO and higher speed.

'Art Smoke' shots like this are usually shot against a black background and then reversed in photoshop. You want to get as much light on the smoke as you can, but not on the background. You can then add colour in post or sometimes there's colour in the smoke to bring out.

View this one larger here. There are a couple more on flickr, here and here.

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Comments

  • Robert

    Um, yeah, fan-friggin-tastic or what? Doesn't need to be tack sharp to still be beautiful. Captivating, organic, groovy smoke ring with cool muted color. Reversed from black background?

    2006-03-12

  • Miles

    Thanks, I should mention that it is reversed.

    2006-03-12

  • Jordan

    It's really great, Miles. What to you use to generate the smoke?

    2006-03-12

  • Chris

    I like the circular pattern in this shot. A pattern I hadn't seen in my own shots. For what it is worth, I did mine using an off camera flash and side lighting the smoke while shooting at 100 ASA. I have four examples starting with http://potd.chrisempey.com/archives/2006/01/18_complementar.html.

    2006-03-12

  • Miles

    Nice one Chris. A flash is what people recommend but I don't have one :( I used a table lamp...

    2006-03-12

  • bruno

    nice. i like softness in color here...

    2006-03-13

  • Jide Alakija

    OOOOfff! i like this shot with DOF!

    2006-03-13

  • Aaron M. Molina

    Thats cool. Is this smol ring from you or someone else? Im an ex smoker... glad I quit. Cool shot.

    2006-03-13

  • payam

    it kinda looks like an actual human heart... it feels like some sort of anti-smoking message. great work miles!

    2006-03-13

  • Chris

    I haven't seen many circles like this. Looks good for one of your first attempts. I like the DOF. Curious to see more.

    2006-03-13

  • aislinn

    You might have seen this before....but if you haven't check out this photographer, he has a nice smoke series. Might give you some ideas.
    Thomas Herbrich: http://www.herbrich.com/
    Keep working, it looks good.

    2006-03-13

  • joel

    Hey, decient smoke shot ya got there. I checked out that photographer aislinn......his mythology photos are fun as well.... Anyhoodle... i must be off later on.

    2006-03-13

  • sk

    cool shot, u have provided a different take on the "smoke" shot. i like it

    2006-03-13

  • wilsonian

    Love this. It looks like sheer fabric blowing. Very textural for something with so little texture.

    2006-03-13

  • glipto

    exclente fotografia. me encant el color tornasol de la voluta de humo.

    2006-03-14

  • [t e r r o r k i t t e n]

    I think that it has come out great....I think that it works really well against the light background.
    Phil

    2006-03-14

  • therese

    I like your smoke shots. The colours and shapes
    are really nice and soft.

    2006-03-14

  • Phil

    I love the colours here! This is something I gotta try now that I got a new toy!

    2006-03-14

  • mel

    I've only tried it once and I also wasn't happy with my grain either... I think you're first attempt was great!

    2006-03-15

  • Ella

    I love the blur and the earthy colors of your image. Anyone who has ever attempted to capture smoke knows it's not easy at all. Sebastian and I also wished we had flash or much stronger (studio) lighting to capture it more effectively.

    2006-03-16

  • nuno f

    You are getting there. I also tried this technique and didn't even get near your result. I also don't have flash and I'm trying to find a good light source.

    Did you see the smoke shots of David Nightingale of Chromasia? They are fantastic and very sharp.

    You can see it <a href="http://www.chromasia.com/iblog/archives/0601112342_clean.php";>here</a> and <a href="http://www.chromasia.com/iblog/archives/0601121925_clean.php";>here</a>.

    2006-03-17

  • nuno f

    Sorry, thought that I could uses HTML in your comments.

    The links to the photos are:

    http://www.chromasia.com/iblog/archives/0601112342_clean.php

    http://www.chromasia.com/iblog/archives/0601121925_clean.php

    2006-03-17

  • gardner mounce

    that's beautiful, man. thanks for the tip on how to do that, too.

    2006-03-19

  • Robert

    It worked

    2006-03-23

  • Massimo

    It is not just the shape, that is stunning... it's the changing color, too...

    2006-04-01