Use Flour Instead Of Smoke For Your Photography

Benjamin Von Wong finished an informative BTSV of his last dancer photoshoot. This video was filmed by Eva Jinn Productions. Ben gives some great reasons to use flour instead of smoke to accent light in your photos. Check out the high res shots and more info here.


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18 Comments

Congratulations Benjamin on a succesful photoshoot! :)

love this technique, am going to try this for my graded unit at college

lve this, am going to try it at college in the studio

WOW, brilliant. Can't believe I never thought of that.
I'll have to find a way to implement flour in some of my next studio shoots.

Very creative.

Von Wong's picture

Small rectification: It took more than 2 hours cleaning up... more like two days lol!!

We even got flour on the ceiling. That stuff is sticky man, watch out!

what a great idea! Thanks Von, I'll rather use it somwhere in the woods - it's bio degradable :)

What a wonderful, short, down to the point BTS. I LOVE it. Thank you.

Maybe it's better to do this outside...

Von Wong's picture

Glad you guys like it! I strive to produce more and better constantly!

Thanks for sharing, GREAT pictures!!! i used foot powder once, but i was alone, it was difficult to throw it and run to take the photo.

Does anyone know that flour, actually, can be dangerous? A friend of mine, a doctor, says that inhalation of this powder (being very thin) can affect the respiratory system. What do you think about it?

Von Wong's picture

Alessio - I'm sure it's not GOOD for breathing but I highly doubt it has any permanent effects. Maybe if you threw flour every day....

then again, pizza boys would be dying left and right if that were the case

Lovely idea - and of course portable compared to smoke machines. DId notice they used a fan lots though.

As Alessio - said - use caution though.
Not just inhalation - but flour particles in a fine mist can be

HIGHLY FLAMMABLE

Search YouTube for "Flour Fire"

WOW!! That so cool!!!

I love the results -- far better than anything I've ever seen with smoke. I do have one "however."

I am in agreement with the cautions about breathing the flour dust.

Once it's introduced into the air, it creates a very fine particulate that can easily be breathed into the lungs. That has to be unhealthy, especially for dancers. And even though it is being kept a short distance from the dancers, the finest of the particulate matter is still wafting through the air when they can breath it. Ditto the photographer and his assistants. Anyone on the room, for that matter, including the clean up crew.

And while it's true that people who make pizzas and other baked goods work with flour, they are not purposefully tossing handfuls of it in the air for hours on end to the point where it is visibly restricting the light, as would happen to get these great effects in these photos. Even so, people who work around flour dust on a regular basis wear dust masks.

And another thing -- flour dust suspended in air is not just highly flammable, it's highly explosive, which is why smoking is never allowed around grain elevators.

Sorry to throw such a damp rag on what you're doing, but you're playing with people's well being.

I can just say WOW! Benjamin that is an awesome piece of work. Even the behin the scenes video is phantastic. I like it and I hope this will be some kind of inspiration for my future photographical work. Thank you so much!

Wow.....very inspirational BTS. Thanks so much for posting

A quick question though, have you tried using talcum powder instead of flour? will it give the same effect?

Mariette's picture

Would this work without a fan outside?