How to photograph smoke – Smoke photography step by step

In this video about how to photograph smoke step by step, we wanted to show you how easy it is to shoot smoke with your DSLR camera. Photographing smoke is easy to do and its something that everyone including children can do. Please comment and share to show how easy it is. I would love to see your creations so please post them and tag me so I can see them. All you need is a DSLR camera and a couple of accessories listed below. What do we use to photograph smoke, a single incense stick, something that’s safe and easy to control the smoke inside the house. When we light the incense stick, after a few moments the incense stick creates amazing artistic plumes of smoke. To change the shapes of smoke plumes, gently tap the table where the incense stick tray is sitting.

This is just a fun way of capturing light traveling through smoke but seeing how the natural beauty the ways that plumes of smoke travel.

To watch the full video click this link –

Settings for how to photograph smoke step by step


  • DSLR camera
  • A standard or short zoom/telephoto lens
  • Tripod
  • A hotshoe flash
  • Dark background
  • Light flags
  • Incent stick
  • Incent stand
  • Small light source (i.e. smartphone torch)
  • Photo editing software
  • And some creativity

Camera manual setting

  • ISO 100
  • Shutter 1/100
  • Aperture F 11
  • White balance set to flash
  • Raw or JPG file


  • The manual setting at approx 1/8 power, as a guide set approx 18” away from the smoke
  • Adjust backward and forwards depending on your test shots


Products (Current April 2020)

Incense sticks –

Incent stick holder –

Flash remote trigger –

Check for your camera compatibility before you buy it.

If you don’t have a hotshoe flashgun and would like to purchase a low-cost generic flash, maybe consider these:

Flash –

Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite for Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Olympus, Fujifilm, Pentax, Sigma, Minolta and Leica.

Neewer NW635 TTL GN58 Flash Speedlite with LCD Display Compatible with Sony.

Photo editing software

PIXLR – (Free) Use your JPG files only for this software

Adobe Lightroom – (Subscribe to)

Please comment on how you have got on with this guide photographing smoke step by step.

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Categories: On Location Events