Need something new to try in your photos? Tired of the same old props? Why not try a grenade — a color smoke grenade, that is. Sure, smoke grenades aren’t anything new, but if you haven’t used them before, they’re new to you.
I admit I haven’t used color smoke myself, but I’ve always wanted to give it a try. I’ve been on photo walks where others have used color smoke, and I was not impressed by the results. After watching this video by 52Things: Rob & Jonas, I have a better understanding of why those photo walk photographs didn’t look right. The people on the photo walk thought all they needed was a pretty girl and a smoke grenade. There was no thought given to the subject matter; they just gave the beautiful girl a smoke grenade and told her to look moody.
To get really interesting photos with smoke grenades, you need convey a reason why there is smoke in the photo. Just throwing smoke around is going to look like you are just throwing smoke around. Think about where the smoke should be coming from and why it would be coming from that location. You also need to light the smoke to make it pop in the photo. Don’t forget your basic lighting knowledge.