Trapped indoors last night due to some heavy rain so I had a bit of time to experiment with smoke photography. The set up was very simple. One stick of incense, a flash off camera at 90 degrees fitted with a DIY snoot, triggered remotely by pocket wizards, and the Canon 40D, 70-200 f2.8 tripod mounted. Exposure was ISO 100, f5.6, shutter at 1/320th and I manually focused.
Then, I put one of my "ambient" radio stations on Pandora. To me ambient means anything you can totally zone out to. Sigur Ros, Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai and much more. I use this mix a lot for editing photos or doing web design. Anyway, I shot about a hundred frames of the smoke while enjoying the groove. I imported into Lightroom 2, and then found one I liked. From there I simply duplicated and reversed it in Photoshop and added some selective coloring. The whole process was great fun and I'm pleased with the result. Next time I'm stuck inside I'll definitely be glad to make more.