Smoke Photography Challenges
Smoke photography can be very dramatic and artistic, but can also be very difficult to control to get the effect that one may want. Especially outdoors, the slightest change in the direction of the wind can cause the smoke to head off in a totally different direction that expected. The wind may wildly diffuse the smoke, or in some cases, can actually appear to drown your subject.
Traditional methods of handing smoke grenades include laying the device on the ground near your subject or having the subject hold the grenade. Almost any smoke generating device, even smoke emitters, will generate a significant amount of heat and can easily be uncomfortable or even cause burns. In addition, clouds of smoke can easily irritate the eyes of your model when held too close.
So, are there options? Commercially there are of course various options to contain various sized smoke bombs, but are often product specific and can be pricy. How about a visit to your local home depot or Lowes?
PVC Tee pieces as well as an assortment of elbow and screw attachment are available at most home improvement stores. An example is the Tee piece pictured here. By selecting the proper sized tube, you could easily insert the smoke bomb within one (or both- different colors) of the horizontal openings to the tube. Another possibility would be to attach elbow attachments to the horizonal openings so that the smoke would be directed backwards.
A straight piece of CAPPED PVC pipe could be fitted into the vertical aspect of the Tee piece and potentially wrapped with tape to serve as a handle. Yet another option for a straight piece of PVC pipe would be to partially bury it within the ground behind, your subject, then drop the smoke bomb within the pipe. Depending upon the length of the pipe, the smoke could potentially released at different heights to give a variety of artistic effects.
WARNING: All smoke bombs get VERY hot. The PVC pipe WILL get HOT (Smoke bombs within an enclosed space may actually start to melt pvc piping). Please be careful!
The options are only limited by your imagination and connections that you are able to find in your local store!