Graeme Black took smoke photography a step further and created those interesting images:
I recently sold my Studio (an old warehouse of approx. 4000 sq ft ) because I no longer had to build large sets for fashion etc. as I go out and hire locations the cost to the client was the same and I could cash in on the property boom. I still have the use of a very large studio for shooting cars ,trucks etc. so the large size is taken care of. I have started working out of home but 90% of my work is on location, hence the name Photolocum. I sold all of my studio flash lighting and rely entirely on ambient light and Nikon wireless SB800 speedlights and as yet I have not found a situation they can’t cover.
With the new arrangement in place I had more time on my hands I looked for something that was a bit creative and a bit of fun. I had been playing with smoke water type shots for years but it did nothing for the creative side, to me it was simply shooting a lot and hoping you had something that was pleasing and in most cases you got something that looked good but by chance not by design.
I then started to take it a step further by using these great shapes to create an image that had a story, I had no idea in which direction these stories were going to go it all depended on what I saw in the smoke. As you can see an image can be made up of several smoke images, added to with colors, bow ties, eyes, lips, hands, breast etc.
Besides my commercial and fashion work I do a lot of stock so I have plenty of images I can take apart and use in these projects. I have created a 500 GB hard drive of A-Z of images I may need - eyes, faces, hands, cars, animals etc. This drive is added to constantly.
I do not use col gels because I don’t know where that image is going to fit into the final pic, I prefer to ad col in PS, that way I can coordinate the final image.
Each project take 6-8 hrs and 25-30 layers, depending on the complexity, a glass or two of red seems to help as well. Not all projects work out, I have spent a lot of time on some only to look at it next day and wonder what was I thinking. It can be addictive, frustrating, but never boring.