A Start-to-Finish Guide on Creating Great Portraits With Smoke

There are certain rights of passage in photography that we all should try at some juncture of our time with a camera. They act as both important learning tools but plainly, they're good fun to do. In this video, Pye Jirsa walks you through how he created a great-looking portrait using a smoke bomb.

You may have heard the phrase, "classics are classic for a reason." It usually comes straight after a criticism is leveled against something for being old-fashioned or overdone. When it comes to photography using smoke bombs, I believe the sentiment is right towards this classic; they've earned their place as a classic, up there with (but above) steel wool.

Smoke has been used in artistic creations of varying mediums for some time, and photography is one that has benefited the most. With smoke bombs, you have an easy and portable way to add texture, mood, atmosphere, and even color into an otherwise plain scene. This is why it is an incredibly popular technique, but do not let that put you off.

If you aren't keen on smoke bombs as a feature, one technique that delivers time and time again is to shroud your subject in the smoke. This can remove the staged feeling you might get from your subject holding it in-frame, if that's not the direction you want to head.

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2 Comments
Mike Ditz's picture

Too bad there was no photo posted in the blurb.

Paul Trantow's picture

Are we still doing smoke bombs? Could they BE any more trite? Please think of something new.