Smoke Photography and Smoke Art

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Photography is constantly reminding us how wondrous and beautiful the world we live in truly is. It often urges us to take another look at the ordinary things around us in a new light, revealing a quiet beauty in even the most mundane of objects. More specifically, smoke photography, with its alluring images of ghostly wisps of smoke, shows us that we don’t have to look very far to find this beauty.

In this edition of our Monday Inspiration series, we present 60 examples of beautiful smoke photography and smoke art: a round-up of some of the best examples of photos and artworks where smoke dominates. At the bottom of this post are some links to tutorials on creating your own smoke photographs, as well as other resources on the subject.

35 × Elegant Smoke Photographs

Magicnikon1
Dry ice was put in the bottle to get this great image.

Smoke Art2

Hughes Léglise-Bataille3

smoke4

Selva Morales5

Smoke Art6

Ibai Acevedo Larrañaga7

smoke8

Alberich Mathews9
Wonderful fantasy image.

smoke art10

italian.meatball11

smoke12

Frances Dre13

smoke14

icewomanfirst15

smoke16

moczkos17

smoke18

Corica19
No HDR in use.

smoke20

Wolfgang Schlegl21

smoke22

olvwu23

smoke24

Greg Cope25

smoke26

brents pix27

smoke28

Howya29

smoke30

cubanito31

smoke32

ubierno33

smoke34

smoke35

lapebo36

smoke37

Mohammad Moniruzzaman38

smoke39

Stephan Bollinger40

smoke41

Lumendipity10542

Smoke Art and Smoke Photography43

Alfredo M. Montesdeoca44

smoke45

Terry McCormick46

smoke47

Kalamakia48

smoke49

G. Chorus50

smoke51

Alicia en Sheffield52

smoke53

Stuck in Customs54

smoke55

e20ci56

smoke57

Tony Hopkinson58

smoke59

The smoke that’s produced in explosive interaction with electricity:60 [via61]

smoke62

Mehmet Ozgur63

smoke64

Josh Beeman65

smoke66

puma10067

smoke68

Lamont Hardy69
Experiment with a lightbulb’s filament.

smoke art70

Dubi Feiner71

smoke72

25 × Smoke Art

Eddie Mayda73
Roll-Up by Eddie Mayda. “Fluid and aerodynamics are technical interests of mine. It is so entertaining to be able to combine my technical side with a little bit of art. The forms that result from a simple stick of burning incense defy the imagination… and catching them is a sport!”

smoke74

Jay PH75

smoke76

smoke77

Will Cook78

smoke79

smoke80

Steve Wampler81

smoke82

dxsibo83

smoke84

Mehmet Ozgur85
Stunning image of smoke shaped in Photoshop to resemble a woman. This technique is often referred to as “smoke sculpture.”

woman86

J.Auchinleck87
Great image made by layering pictures of smoke and mirroring them to make it symmetrical.

smoke sculpture88

Ceekybikerboy89
Blue waves of smoke.

smoke90

Paul C Anderson91

smoke art92

Larry Grace93
Beautifully symmetrical smoke photograph.

smoke art94

Sdx7695

smoke art96

Per Zangenberg97
This natural smoke wisp looks like a torso.

smoke art98

CowGummy99

smoke art100

Greypaw101

smoke art102

Mehmet Ozgur103

smoke art104

Lumendipity10542

Smoke Art and Smoke Photography106

Smoke Art and Smoke Photography107

Resources

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.flickr.com/photos/8567550@N02/2379315504/in/pool-49806738@N00
  2. 2 http://www.flickr.com/photos/8567550@N02/2379315504/in/pool-49806738@N00
  3. 3 http://www.flickr.com/photos/hughes_leglise/
  4. 4 http://www.flickr.com/photos/hughes_leglise/239179498/
  5. 5 http://www.flickr.com/photos/selva/
  6. 6 http://www.flickr.com/photos/selva/513813/
  7. 7 http://www.flickr.com/photos/miabuelanoloentiende/
  8. 8 http://www.flickr.com/photos/miabuelanoloentiende/2824027931/
  9. 9 http://www.flickr.com/photos/alberich/596953390/in/pool-smokeart
  10. 10 http://www.flickr.com/photos/alberich/596953390/in/pool-smokeart
  11. 11 http://www.flickr.com/photos/tacksharp/2158944445/
  12. 12 http://www.flickr.com/photos/tacksharp/2158944445/
  13. 13 http://www.flickr.com/photos/56583351@N00/194727791/
  14. 14 http://www.flickr.com/photos/56583351@N00/194727791/
  15. 15 http://www.flickr.com/photos/icewoman/
  16. 16 http://www.flickr.com/photos/icewoman/2615116479/
  17. 17 http://www.flickr.com/photos/7959482@N02/
  18. 18 http://www.flickr.com/photos/7959482@N02/2326971895/
  19. 19 http://www.flickr.com/photos/corica/1319102546/
  20. 20 http://www.flickr.com/photos/corica/1319102546/
  21. 21 http://www.flickr.com/photos/schlegl/
  22. 22 http://www.flickr.com/photos/schlegl/385259543/
  23. 23 http://www.flickr.com/photos/olvwu/99549727/
  24. 24 http://www.flickr.com/photos/olvwu/99549727/
  25. 25 http://www.flickr.com/photos/copeg/
  26. 26 http://www.flickr.com/photos/copeg/365932261/
  27. 27 http://www.flickr.com/photos/brentspix/2436021731/in/set-72157604085829375/
  28. 28 http://www.flickr.com/photos/brentspix/2436021731/in/set-72157604085829375/
  29. 29 http://www.flickr.com/photos/howya/
  30. 30 http://www.flickr.com/photos/howya/2108200001/
  31. 31 http://club-sonus.sony.de/gallery/showImageDetails.htm?galleryItem=4500
  32. 32 http://club-sonus.sony.de/gallery/showImageDetails.htm?galleryItem=14271&pageContext=category&subCategory=153&pageNumber=7
  33. 33 http://www.flickr.com/photos/ubierno/2078921190/
  34. 34 http://www.flickr.com/photos/ubierno/2078921190/
  35. 35 http://www.flickr.com/photos/ubierno/2078921190/
  36. 36 http://club-sonus.sony.de/gallery/showImageDetails.htm?galleryItem=7359&pageContext=category&subCategory=153&pageNumber=10
  37. 37 http://club-sonus.sony.de/gallery/showImageDetails.htm?galleryItem=7359&pageContext=category&subCategory=153&pageNumber=10
  38. 38 http://www.flickr.com/photos/bacillus/
  39. 39 http://www.flickr.com/photos/bacillus/1891700900/
  40. 40 http://www.swissphoto.com.au/
  41. 41 http://www.flickr.com/photos/bacillus/1891700900/
  42. 42 http://www.flickr.com/photos/lumendipity/sets/72157600005114373/
  43. 43 http://www.flickr.com/photos/lumendipity/1516008744/in/set-72157600005114373/
  44. 44 http://www.flickr.com/photos/almarmon1/
  45. 45 http://www.flickr.com/photos/almarmon1/69066294/
  46. 46 http://www.flickr.com/photos/zormsk/
  47. 47 http://www.flickr.com/photos/zormsk/427632769/
  48. 48 http://www.flickr.com/photos/kalamakia/
  49. 49 http://www.flickr.com/photos/kalamakia/2283478780/
  50. 50 http://www.flickr.com/photos/12382390@N02/2533087733/
  51. 51 http://www.flickr.com/photos/12382390@N02/2533087733/
  52. 52 http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotosdealicia/
  53. 53 http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotosdealicia/2887718313/
  54. 54 http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuckincustoms/387019269/
  55. 55 http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuckincustoms/387019269/
  56. 56 http://www.flickr.com/photos/cocoabeachjoe/1300892840/
  57. 57 http://www.flickr.com/photos/cocoabeachjoe/1300892840/
  58. 58 http://www.flickr.com/photos/tony-hopkinson/1443143486/
  59. 59 http://www.flickr.com/photos/tony-hopkinson/1443143486/
  60. 60 http://www.pbase.com/daria90/electricity
  61. 61 http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2008/08/sublime-sensual-smoke-art.html
  62. 62 http://www.pbase.com/daria90/electricity
  63. 63 http://photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=493133
  64. 64 http://photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=493133
  65. 65 http://www.flickr.com/photos/joshbeeman/
  66. 66 http://www.flickr.com/photos/joshbeeman/2241897977/
  67. 67 http://puma100.photosight.ru/
  68. 68 http://puma100.photosight.ru/
  69. 69 http://www.flickr.com/photos/lamonthardy/493188200/in/pool-artsmoke
  70. 70 http://www.flickr.com/photos/lamonthardy/493188200/in/pool-artsmoke
  71. 71 http://www.flickr.com/photos/37216937@N00/119896207/
  72. 72 http://www.flickr.com/photos/37216937@N00/119896207/
  73. 73 http://www.flickr.com/photos/eamayda/sets/72057594053163489/
  74. 74 http://www.flickr.com/photos/eamayda/293603584/
  75. 75 http://www.flickr.com/photos/69826402@N00/2347786849/in/set-72157604037349522/
  76. 76 http://www.flickr.com/photos/69826402@N00/2347786849/in/set-72157604037349522/
  77. 77 http://www.flickr.com/photos/69826402@N00/2308352957/
  78. 78 http://www.flickr.com/photos/wcreations46/2250352373/
  79. 79 http://www.flickr.com/photos/wcreations46/2250352373/
  80. 80 http://www.flickr.com/photos/wcreations46/2457119075/in/set-72157603558773100/
  81. 81 http://www.flickr.com/photos/sgw/sets/72157603804672682/
  82. 82 http://www.flickr.com/photos/sgw/2224693100/in/set-72157603804672682/
  83. 83 http://www.flickr.com/photos/dxsibo/2538121815/
  84. 84 http://www.flickr.com/photos/dxsibo/2538121815/
  85. 85 http://www.mehmet-ozgur.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=111
  86. 86 http://www.mehmet-ozgur.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=111
  87. 87 http://www.flickr.com/photos/j-auchinleck/2251322041/in/pool-fleetingbeauty-smoke
  88. 88 http://www.flickr.com/photos/j-auchinleck/2251322041/in/pool-fleetingbeauty-smoke
  89. 89 http://www.flickr.com/photos/79196467@N00/437864697/in/set-72157600032993504/
  90. 90 http://www.flickr.com/photos/79196467@N00/437864697/in/set-72157600032993504/
  91. 91 http://www.pbase.com/paulca/image/54412250
  92. 92 http://www.pbase.com/paulca/image/54412250
  93. 93 http://www.pbase.com/larrygrace/image/90990158
  94. 94 http://www.pbase.com/larrygrace/image/90990158
  95. 95 http://www.flickr.com/photos/sdx76/532194268/sizes/o/
  96. 96 http://www.flickr.com/photos/sdx76/532194268/sizes/o/
  97. 97 http://www.zangenberg.net/foto/index.php?id=846&page=1
  98. 98 http://www.zangenberg.net/foto/index.php?id=846&page=1
  99. 99 http://www.flickr.com/photos/cowgummy/2168430837/in/set-72157594342830830/
  100. 100 http://www.flickr.com/photos/cowgummy/2168430837/in/set-72157594342830830/
  101. 101 http://www.flickr.com/photos/robc_coops/2192478779/in/pool-413725@N24
  102. 102 http://www.flickr.com/photos/robc_coops/2192478779/in/pool-413725@N24
  103. 103 http://www.mehmet-ozgur.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=139
  104. 104 http://www.mehmet-ozgur.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=139
  105. 105 http://www.flickr.com/photos/lumendipity/sets/72157600005114373/
  106. 106 http://www.flickr.com/photos/lumendipity/2590190300/in/set-72157600005114373/
  107. 107 http://www.flickr.com/photos/lumendipity/490791908/in/set-72157600005114373/
  108. 108 http://www.brighthub.com/multimedia/photography/articles/1492.aspx
  109. 109 http://www.flickr.com/groups/smokeart/
  110. 110 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iv39UmuiYNA
  111. 111 http://www.flickr.com/photos/wcreations46/sets/72157603558773100/
  112. 112 http://www.flickr.com/groups/artsmoke/pool/
  113. 113 http://sensitivelight.com/smoke2/

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Tim Mercer is a photography enthusiast, graphic designer, artist and blogger. His blog offers free resources for the digital artist and graphic designer, as well as tutorials, artist interviews, inspiration and more.

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  1. 1

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    October 5, 2008 2:36 pm

    Please respect Smashing Magazine and our Smashing community. If you comment on the post, post your ideas, remarks or suggestions. All comments with “first”, “second”, “third” etc. will be marked as spam and removed.

    0
  2. 2

    Wow, this is an amazing collection of photographs.
    I particularly like Alberich Mathews’ fantasy style photograph, Terry McCormick’s powerful shot of the train, and ubierno’s photographs.

    ubierno’s in particular have a style that creates a really powerful image!

    Congrats to all the photographers for getting these amazing shots!

    1
  3. 3

    Amazing. The smoke women are incredible.

    0
  4. 4

    Cool, some really nice collection of photographs.
    I like the smoke effect in images. It looks very neat and smooth. I wish I could do something like that by myself.

    Thanks smashing for lots of references for good quality images. I might use few in my next projects if they are fee for uses.

    Keep some of these coming once in a while. :)

    Roshan
    http://www.instantshift.com

    0
  5. 5

    I am stunned with their creative skills!

    0
  6. 6

    Some awesome smoke photos in there… there also some shots that obviously arent smoke too… like water…

    Good post anyway

    0
  7. 7

    Very beautiful effect

    0
  8. 8

    wow! the waterfall thingy is like so so cool…………
    amazing!

    0
  9. 9

    Very cool. I always enjoy the photography collections.

    1
  10. 10

    Finally some good old smashing stuff :)

    0
  11. 11

    Man, great set. I just got done watching a marathon of Planet Earth (Discovery mini series). I was in the perfect mood to appreciate these. Thanks!

    0
  12. 12

    That’s awesome.. Really liked Mehmet Ozgur’s work !!! :D

    Manish
    http://www.dtptutorials.com

    0
  13. 13

    remarkable!

    0
  14. 14

    Before you go AND STEAL PHOTOS, ask the photographer if you can use them.
    Linking to flickr is acceptable — making illegal copies of photos and storing them on your server IS ILLEGAL !!

    flickr’s TOS are pretty clear and easy to follow and I’m just asking you (and others) to stick with those TOS.

    0
  15. 15

    @ Stargazer

    Wow, caps lock is cruise control for cool!

    0
  16. 16

    There are some really nice photos here! I’ve always loved fire and smoke based photography, so this is a very nice collection. Some great selections featured here for sure!

    0
  17. 17

    Wow a great selection. I think Mehmet Ozgur’s photo is the best one. But you forgot my photo ;)

    Thanks for this article! I really enjoy photo collections like this one.

    0
  18. 18

    Ibai Acevedo Larrañaga the best! awesome… really fantastikkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!!!!!

    0
  19. 19

    Muhammad Shahid Akram

    October 5, 2008 11:06 pm

    Well itz amazing, all people done superb job, both photographers and designer, but some things are totally amazing like Paul C Anderson, Per Zangenberg, Stephan Bollinger but all done amazingly

    1
  20. 20

    Many of these pictures are of water vapour rather than smoke, but they are nice nonetheless.

    1
  21. 21

    wow! impressive! got to do some of that for TIM

    1
  22. 22
  23. 23

    Justin (www.DotNetMushroom.com)

    October 6, 2008 12:33 am

    Smoking Hot :-) Great Post for a Monday Morning inspiration !!

    DotNetMushroom

    0
  24. 24

    The “Smoke women” (Mehmet Ozgur) is amazing !

    0
  25. 25

    now this is a great post !

    0
  26. 26

    nice effect………..

    0
  27. 27

    haha… since when has a waterfall been smoke?!

    0
  28. 28
  29. 29

    impressive.

    -1
  30. 30

    good one images but we should know this images

    0
  31. 31

    Beautiful!

    0
  32. 32

    Remarkable artwork.

    The only problem is that “water vapor” can not be classified as “smoke”.

    0
  33. 33

    Fantastica recopilacion…

    one more: Humo #3

    0
  34. 34

    真棒!实在是太震撼了!

    0
  35. 35

    Wow, that’s a freaking awesome collection of photography and choosing a fav is damn near impossible because so many of them are so cool.

    Awesome post, thanks.

    0
  36. 36

    I’m honored,..but…
    I wish You inform me next time, when you borrow my pic..:D

    0
  37. 37

    thanx BeatifuL ;)

    0
  38. 38

    holy smoke !!! awesome collection….

    0
  39. 39

    These pics are great, anyone know how to take a picture like this? Probably a dark room and some matches and a good camera? with or with out flash?

    I tried once to do the same thing but with fishes and in a Macro mode
    you can see the result at http://amir97522.blogspot.com/2008/10/shiraz-fish-market.html

    0
  40. 40

    i appreciate the inclusion of my smoke picture. i would just like someone to ask first.

    0
  41. 41

    Great shots, very good post as usual.
    Geshan

    0
  42. 42

    More available at Hidden Pixels

    0
  43. 43

    Really nice stuff I really love the exploded bulbs!
    I’ve tried that once ( Pixeleyes.be/smoke) but I really amazed of the creativity of some of those shots!!

    0
  44. 44

    Add this one to the list

    0
  45. 45

    great stuff liking all of them definately like the ones near the top… the one that stands out the most is the one that is the just lit match and the other is teh girl on the beach smoking..

    great work
    http://trcwest.com

    0
  46. 46

    so beautiful!

    0
  47. 47

    Mohammad Moniruzzaman

    October 8, 2008 12:50 am

    A very impressive collection.

    But you should ask permission before you use any image from a flickr member. It’s very sad that a magazine like u are certainly aware of photographers rights, but don’t follow them.

    Apart from this, I really admire this collection.

    0
  48. 48
  49. 49

    this smoke photography is awesome ! I found it unique and beautiful…this is one of the great art that I have seen…keep it up!

    0
  50. 50

    Love the Alberich Mathews design. I really like the smoke becoming part of her dress. Great work.

    onwired.com

    0
  51. 51

    First off, let me say that I DID give my permission to use my images in this article. I was however dissapointed that Tim only showed the one photo. Especially when seeing some of the other photos shown.
    If you liked the one shown here please check out Dancing Woman, http://www.zangenberg.net/foto/index.php?id=1079

    and Pregnant Woman, http://www.zangenberg.net/foto/index.php?id=850

    0
  52. 52

    As some other photographers have already stated above, glad to be in the list (3 times), but it would have been better to send a message to each of us that you were planning this, or at least when you posted this article..

    Anyways, you can see more of my stuff here in my Smoke Photography Gallery .. for some how-to information, check my Blog posts on Smoke Photography..

    0
  53. 53

    I’m flattered that you chose to use my pictures in you on-line publication, and that you gave me credit for them.. I am, however, a little disappointed that you choice to post them without my verbal or written consent. If you look closely, you will see that all of my Flickr photos are copyright protected. Always let me know in advance. Much appreciated

    Will Cook

    0
  54. 54

    Feel free to continue to post the two pieces you chose for this article, but in the future get my permission first

    Will Cook

    0
  55. 55

    Stunning collection, here is two of mine smoky pictures Tibet, Lhasa – Jokhang Temple , and the other one Tibet, Lhasa – Jokhang Temple II

    0
  56. 56

    Great work, beautiful foto… :)

    My smoke fotos…

    0
  57. 57

    真是太帅了,有点云里雾里了,呵呵

    0
  58. 58

    coool

    0
  59. 59

    Oups, I totally did not see what I was supposed to see in picture #1.. Not right away, anyway.

    :|

    0
  60. 60

    Nice pixs. However, I prefer to see added elements with smoke. Thanks for giving me an idea. I’ll take a snapshot of a pile of burning newspaper articles that I’ve saved from the “BAILOUT BUST”. A slow burn capturing pieces of the smoking headlines and photos as the Dow flirts with history! (tee hee) I just love to play with FIRE on paper. In my opinion, the element of danger when dealing with smoke (fire) is what makes the artwork come alive.

    0
  61. 61

    Amazing Pictures. It makes me want to change from black and white photography to color/digital. All these pieces of work has given me a new thought to what i can shoot.Thanks.

    0
  62. 62
  63. 63

    pos k onda karnal

    0
  64. 64

    pos ke onda karnal puro king A.D.R

    0
  65. 65

    where is the tutorial to do the smoke? would really love to use this in an ad.

    0
  66. 66

    Resquied muhammed ali akram shithead

    April 2, 2009 9:49 am

    GREAT! PIIIIICCCTTTTUUURRREEESS!

    0
  67. 67

    The smoke sculpturing is really cool!

    0
  68. 68

    it nice

    0
  69. 69

    André Villeneuve

    May 21, 2009 6:32 am

    Je suis tres impressionné

    0
  70. 70

    it rocks& very cool pics i like it superb.

    0
  71. 71

    fantastikkkkkkkkkkkkkkk! work

    0
  72. 72

    Stephan Brauchli

    July 14, 2009 3:59 am

    Check out more of my mirrored smoke series here: http://photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=659818

    also have non-mirrored images here: http://photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=366380

    Cheers
    Stephan

    0
  73. 73

    they need to get pictures of people ghosting cigarettes

    0
  74. 74

    josh your stupid people cant do that it would hurt too bad. gosh

    0
  75. 75

    All images have a very different and great look…all of them are looking very fantastic….Thanks for these Images

    Thanks alot………….Great job

    0
  76. 76

    Great post as usual, very inspiring and talented photographers, can’t be easy capturing smoke that effectively!

    0
  77. 77

    Idratherbeblown

    July 27, 2010 7:44 pm

    Those are some of the wildest picts smokin’ hot

    0
  78. 78

    udaybhanu moharana

    December 13, 2011 2:55 am

    Photographs shown here are unique and class on its own way, outstanding. Creativity has no limitations particlualrly when tools and gadgets are available. Inspired by uniqueness of this kind of art, I have just beginning to experiment. I am working on to bring in more variety. In addition I would like to share that I also practise another form of abstract photography i.e. water drop or water splash photography. I have even developed a complete kit to facilitate this art form. Samples shots are also displayed in my websiite. It would be my pleasure to invite you to have a look at my website. Thanks.
    U. Moharana

    0

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