Special Effects in Photography using Smoke Grenades

10 years as an active photographer you do not only learn how to plan and frame the perfect photo, you also learn how to edit well beyond what is possible in applications like Photoshop. From adding light sources where there actually isn’t any, to removing distracting objects from images. Or combining a number of images to create a magical new scene that simply isn’t possible in the natural world…

But there is still great creative work to be done behind the lens and in the form of traditional photography.

One trend that has really been making an impact in recent years is colour smoke grenades and coloured powders. These add a new dimension to texture and light effects in traditional photography. Whether you are creating a magical orange contrast to a forest green background or creating a post-apocalyptic action scene using black smoke grenades. Gender reveal photo shoot? Instead of cutting into a cake, capture the moment with mom and dad gleaming as they learn that they are expecting a baby boy when their entire surrounding turns blue. It’s a magical element and an exciting adventure to undertake.

We’ve become so use to our processes as photographers that we rely heavily on digital photo manipulation to convey an artistic message. Because of this we spend less time out in the world truly experimenting and more time in front of our computers creating layer upon layer of effects and gradients. 9 out of 10 photographers you meet will tell you that they are exhausted from hours of editing, instead of doing what they actually enjoy.

Go back to the basics, go back to where you had fun. Plan a creative photo shoot and buy some smoke grenades. Make something unique and exciting. And if you are as addicted to post processing as I am, watch the world come alive as you pull those adjustment sliders and tweak that pink, orange and blue to create stunning, vivid special effects in what might have been a less impressive photograph.

I personally recommend Enola Gaye Smoke grenades. Prices are reasonable and the colours are beautiful. These smoke grenades give you between 45 – 60 seconds of smoke, depending on the colour you are using. Create that magical backdrop before reaching for Photoshop!

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