Fire has a hypnotic quality and its easy to lost in its beauty.  Smoke has a similar effect and it wasn’t until quite recenty that I found that its become a form of art.  As I had nothing else on today, my office admin is up to date, I thought that I would have a go myself.  I enjoy working in the studio and this turned out to be great fun…

The technique is quite simple, black background, one flash unit, a tripod and a digital camera.  Oh you might want a few incense sticks to provide the smoke…  I know that the background here is white but it did start out black, honest.  The black background just provides a contrast to the smoke.  The flash is placed to the side of the incense stick at 90° to the camera.  I used a makeshift snoot to contain the light and stop it from hitting either the background or entering the camera lens.  The exposure was 1/160th sec @ f8.  The lens was manualy focused and left on manual throughout the shoot. Light the incense stick and take lots of exposures. The image was inverted in P’shop (Ctrl + I) to give the white background.  The image was retouched to get rid of dust spots and the colour adjusted to give the pink/purple hue you see on the end result.

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