Best Tips for Smoke Bomb Photography

Best Tips for Smoke Bomb Photography by stolen maps

Smoke Bomb Photography creates strong and surreal effect. The images captured are fascinating and aesthetic enough to grab anyone’s attention in just a fraction of second.

If you haven’t come across some mesmerizing smoke bomb photos yet, then must be living under a rock till now. Anyways, here’s everything thing you need to know to make the most out of your next smoke bomb photography project:

Things you need for Smoke Bomb Photography

  1. Obviously, Smoke Bombs (I recommend Wire Pull Grenades)
  2. Your Camera (with stand)
  3. External Flash
  4. Reflectors
  5. Water to safely dispose the bombs
  6. Model(s)
  7. Outdoor space (not advised for indoors)
woman in red dress red smoke bomb photography
©Joshua Posada—source

The Smoke Bomb

Smoke bombs are mini-grenades and run for about 60-90 seconds. This is enough time to capture some shots if things are kept ready beforehand.

The bombs can stain your (models’) hands and clothes and they also stink… a lot. The cool burning wire pull grenades are strongly recommended due to safety concerns. Try not to inhale the smoke as it can cause irritation. Have first-aid kit in your reach, just in case something happens.

also read: Top 5 tips for Architectural Photography


An important tip is to make sure you shoot only in a super-dry environment. Although very low, there are chances that something around you like bushes or clothes might catch fire. So make sure to have plenty of water beforehand to control any such situation.

If you’re shooting at night, take with you external flash and reflectors for proper lighting.

You need to well plan the shots as the bomb burns off in a short time. Consider taking some test shots without the smoke bombs.

It is advised to avoid windy days. A gentle breeze is nothing to worry about. But if the wind is flowing too swiftly, you should postpone the shooting schedule to some other day. Stillness is precisely what you need.

person in woods smoke bomb photography
©Andy Swann—source

How it’s done

The colorful haze of undulating smoke is the essence of Smoke bomb Photography. Even a very dynamic thing like smoke is seized and captured in a frame of time, which exhibits the true nature of photography.

Ask your model to stand still and have an assistant move around in circles holding a bomb. Or let the model hold one and swing hands. You can also try lighting two or more of them (different colors) at the same time.

Creativity with smoke bombs knows no bounds. They can turn an ordinary image into a dramatic one. You never know when you might want to burn some and click a few surreal shots. Just keep some in your car when you go shooting outdoors.

also read: How to use Framing in Urban Environment

man with mask holding smoke photograph
©James Young—source
man in black hoodie holding smoke bomb photography
woman in white dress with her face hidden in black smoke

Well, there you go! That’s all I had to share. Don’t forget to drop a comment down below if this post helped you in some way or if you’d like me to write about something or maybe just to say hi!

Leave a comment

Privacy Preferences
When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in form of cookies. Here you can change your privacy preferences. Please note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we offer.