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Art Photography

Smoke Photography The Menace

Smoke Photography, or more accurately, the 'photography of smoke' creates beautiful shapes and patterns to fuel your imagination.

Simple and yet so elegant, smoke photography produces a myriad of different images in just a few moments of time.

This is a real photographs of smoke from an incense stick. Post processing is limited to colour and tone - the shape is the one that was created by the smoke as it rose.

How to capture smoke in a photograph

My smoke photography is the result of a run of rainy days and not being able to get out and capture landscape photographs.

In the garage I set up a flash with barn doors at right angles to the camera that I sat on a tripod. I used a black V-flat that I use for portraits as a background and lit some incense sticks.

The original image was a black background with soft grey smoke in focus.

To capture the smoke at its best I used the flash to freeze the motion of the swirling smoke. I then inverted the black with white and vice versa. The result created a mask or template to which I added colour.

Here are my recommendations to make things a little easier:

  1. Find something sturdy to put the incense stick into - I used half a potato
  2. Open a window or you will make yourself feel very sick after a few hours
  3. Expect to get lots of 'not interesting' images
  4. Use a piece of card to gently waft the smoke...wait a few seconds and then take some more images
  5. Initially focus on the unlit stick

The image I created

Each smoke photo is unique, and can never be repeated. In this image I thought the swirls reminded me of a menacing creature and from there I went to Dennis The Menace (don't ask)!

Fine Art Landscape Prints

Thank you for looking at my photographs. If you would like to enjoy these scenes in your own home all of my landscape photographs are available to purchase as high quality fine art prints. You can find more information about prints and frames you can purchase by visiting my Landscape Print Shop.


Please note that Peter adds new photographs to his online collection at regular intervals. In a bid to make sure that he remains in the real world he limits his time online!

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All photographs and content appearing on this site are the property of Peter Nutkins Photography. They are protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, and are not to be downloaded or reproduced in any way without our written permission. You may share photos using the tools provided in our galleries.

Peter Nutkins Photography is based in Derbyshire, England, serving the UK.

Contact | 109 Birches Ln, South Wingfield, Alfreton DE55 7LZ | (01773) 432007