For everyone who loves beautiful special effects, color smoke bomb photography is a popular idea for a portfolio. Perhaps, not everyone knows that the pyrotechnic option was initially created as a firework for football fans. Easy prop and fun mood made it interesting for pictures outdoors.
The basic technique to obtain a high-quality and spectacular photo with a smoke bomb is the following. First of all, the torch itself is not visible. It is in this case that you get a fabulous special effect. Otherwise, you are just a football fans.
There are two options for a photoshoot: with and without a holder. Newlyweds, for example, should hold the torch in their hands during the shooting. Otherwise, install it near the bride and groom so that the smoke spontaneously spreads on the ground. Get an assistant among your friends, who can hold the stick for you. The device is launched using a special cord built into it.
Experiment with simple tips. For colorful shooting, a shutter speed of 1/100 second is quite enough, a shorter one does not give an advantage. The aperture should be as big as possible. Feel free to close the aperture to f 16. This will increase the depth of field, which is very useful. Use ISO 100, if it is appropriate. Every image will have more opportunities to be processed.
Invite an assistant. There are a number of exceptions, but we recommend to find an assistant for smoke bomb photography, who will light it, and you just pose in a luxurious cloud. In this case, there is no worry about the dress, no risks associated with the launch of a pyrotechnic product.
Free your hands. Having an assistant provides another significant advantage to pose better. Models are not always professional to know all portrait tips. That is why free hands are of great help for both the photographer and a couple. Let the smoke flow freely in the background. Make your moment even more diverse!
Rehearse all improvisations in advance. Practice more in case you doubt that you can shoot desired shots from the first time. The duration of the effect is about 30 seconds. Calculate how many items you need to burn during the process to realize the creative approach and add spare one.
Consider wind direction. The air conditions directly depend on the wind speed and its direction. The most beautiful results are obtained in calm weather when the smoke forms a large color cloud. If it’s windy, choose appropriate background so that the smoke spreading in the wind will be in the frame as much as possible.
Read well the manual. When choosing smoke bomb photography ideas, pay attention not only to color but also to quality and burning time. If the checker burns for 20 seconds, this time is too short. Burning time of 60 seconds can be either diffused and dull, or bright and saturated. Low-quality items look bad in a picture.
There is a high possibility to organize a dangerous experience. Focus on quality, and do not save money on your safety.
Get secured. These props belong to the first class of pyrotechnic products. They are safe for health, do not burn and do not create a shock wave. There are two types of checkers: some are triggered directly, others mechanically.
Avoid panic creation. Get informed if the shooting location is aware about extra props the photographer is going to use. Unexpected smoke alarms people and animals. Do not consider that everyone is as much fascinated as a photographer during his work. At least try to make some signs to people who may not be ready for a sudden effect.
Choose your color palette. Ask clients or think by yourself about the tones and shades to use in outfit and accessories. Find a bright torch to match the wedding celebration, or give juiciness to shades of nature. Combine colors to create beautiful effects.
Move to day and night photography. Colored smoke looks beautiful not only in daylight! In the dark, it produces an equally vivid impression and effectively transforms photographs. Play with various tricks and backdrops to create a necessary atmosphere.
Take care of air to inhale. Smoke is irritating when inhaled. That is why ask a model to remember it. If the idea of a portrait is to cover the face with a colored cloud then it is better to hold the breath for several seconds. Be attentive not to overdo with special effects and not to damage health.
Correct the place of shooting if needed. The colorful effect provides an incredible fairytale setting. This is an impressive sight that helps to hide “non-photogenic landscapes”: garbage, construction, etc. A dull day in late autumn or winter, when nature cannot boast with bright, vibrant tones, color checkers will come to rescue the event and will brighten up a day.
Train to work with a new device. Before you get into your new experience, be sure that models are trained and know what to do. It depends on the item if it is getting hot or remains cold while working. Tell models to be aware of all tips and advise them on how to behave in case if something goes wrong.
Avoid fire in public. Think well before using the item in a restaurant or large crowds of people. There is a chance to damage the health of someone extremely allergic to smoke ingredients. It can also disturb people, who are not engaged in shooting. Do not make them worry calling police or firemen.
Stay professional. Be aware that props are not the key items to show skills. Plan the frame as if it is without any accessory or backdrop. It has to be perfectly composed and organized. Every detail plays an important role. Do not think to cover all defects with a smoke. It can emphasize the idea, but not cover problematic areas on the picture. Be patient and accurate in your choice of locations and poses.
Focus on a couple. Sometimes new props can switch concentration of a photographer to the background and overall effect. Remain focused on a model or couple. Try to avoid blurring of images due to an excessive amount of smoke on their faces.
Buy devices in bulk. Being a professional means considering all costs and money-saving tricks. That is why buy smoke sticks in bulk or during big sales, which will help to save time and nerves. Every photographer knows that there can be an endless number of shots and tones of makeup used before you get the right picture or portrait.
Move the prop with a moderate speed. Remember that it is not a flag and you are not a football fan. Get calmed and memorize a tip that the slower it is moved the bigger smoke shape it provides in a shot. This is the effect experts are looking for. Do not neglect this simple advice.
Choose the right density. Think of a theme and model to work with and decide if you need a blurred mist or dense colorful cloud. This will help to make the right choice of purchasing accessories for shooting. Plan it and get prepared.
Try various camera settings for smoke bomb photography. There are no strict rules for an artistic view. Get your style and watch the effect of increasing or decreasing the shutter speed. Play with exposure and white balance to find the result you need. Learn to control this creative accessory and it will help to choose the right setting for the camera.
Remember color combinations. A whole rainbow of shades and tones can make everyone confused about the right choice. But torches, as well as other accessories, have to match not only the theme of shooting but play well with other colors present in a frame. Learn the artistic part of photography and make sure not to destroy a perfect image.
Use imagination for every picture. Get inspired by vivid colors and themes. This backdrop permits to tell a real story with additional effects in an album. Play with roles and images for models. Sometimes hiding the smoke source can be even more effective than showing it in the background. Talk to the couple to decide which theme could be more interesting for them to realize. Try brave ideas to get a new creative approach.
Add the light in black smoke bomb photography. Get into the process, but keep in mind basic rules for a professional photoshoot. Keep lights always with you in various sources to use as soon as it is needed. If you cancel colors in effects than light everything up to get dramatic contrast.
Get inspired by old films. Watch movies you like most to get the inspiration you need. Some ideas may sound even too brave but a light cinema touch can transform the picture with colored smoke. Think about how you can get a necessary mood without costumes and heavy makeup. Clear your mind and add the cloud for a mysterious look.
Get a post-processing software. Be sure that not every shot is going to be perfect even if it is not the first time. Every picture can be improved and corrected by specialized programs available online even for the most simple smartphones. Download the one which will make you save money and time and add the necessary effect in several minutes.
Enjoy a new portrait style. It is one of the most efficient ways to show style and skills in a new portrait trend. Good old poses and smiles are natural, but not surprising. But additional effects help to show a well-known person in a new image without heavy makeups or masks.
Get prepared for everything. Do not think that a single torch will provide the necessary mood for all the day. Prepare a good bag or backdrops you need. Include extra batteries and additional lenses to play with a frame. Consider this experience new not only for a photographer but for all the surroundings and nature. You can never know which items will serve you or models during the shooting. Include also a first aid kit, because it is always better to be ready for all force-majors.
Enjoy a creative process and take with you additional items to add a magic atmosphere to the theme. For example, take a fan to move the smoke in a necessary direction. Use a tripod if the stick with a colored smoke is going to be in your hand. Camera shaking is not a good idea for a well-planned shooting. Water is extremely important if something goes wrong and you to douse every fire stick.