Fun with Smoke and Strobes

When I'm browsing the web the photos that always catch my eye are abstract images that you have to think about what YOU see in it. Although the subject matter itself may be very plain, what it represents or resembles jumps out at you immediately. It's sort of looking at an ink-blot test, everyone sees something different, based on their own imagination and experiences.

What I wanted to try is to take some abstract photos and then modify them slightly to guide your interpretation of what you're seeing. You might see something completely different than what I see in the images below, so please let me know what YOU see in the comments.

I had a blast taking these images and immediately seeing objects, figures, and entire scenes appear from abstract whisps of smoke (and no, it was not THAT kind of smoke!). These were all taken with two SB-800's and an SB-900 using large Joss Sticks (I know nothing about incense, but read online that these types produce the best type of smoke for photography purposes). Each flash had a set of flags/gobo's to keep the flash from hitting the background and other places where I didn't want it.

This was my first attempt at this kind of photography, but I'd like to think that some of these are at least half-decent results from a first go at smoke photography. Hope you enjoy!


Rip Tide

The Joker

Lady on the Water

Out of the Bottle

Eagle's Lunch

Flaming Escape