Playing with smoke in your photography is fun. And useful. It provides atmosphere, mood, and background separation. Did I mention it’s fun?
My first $80 smoke machine was soon replaced by a Rosco 1900. Smoke machiens are liek tripods – cheaping out just wasts money. Slow recycle times are incredibly annoying!
The difficult part, however, is controlling the smoke… Especially outdoors. Between the wind, air temperate and evaporating nature of smoke it can get quite tricky.
The bigger the setup, the worse.
There are numerous ways ways to control smoke, like cooling it to make it heavy and stick to the ground or replacing it with flour altogether, there is always room for one more smoky trick.
The guys over at “The Slanted Lens” have a very cool method of controlling smoke on location. They run it through a nylon tube and cut small slits where they want the smoke to go.
This method, fondly dubbed “smoke tube of death” by TSL, gives you several sources of smoke coming from only one machine and the ability to cover big areas.