a person holding somke bomb Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

A Beginner's Guide to Smoke Bomb Photography: Where to Buy | Safety Tips | Pro Techniques

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Looking to make your professional photos even better? You should try smoke bomb photography. Sounds hard, but it's not; using smoke bombs and adding a little drama and excitement in your photos will result in some great shots.

The following is an introductory article to photographing with smoke bombs, what type of smoke grenade, and where to buy them; various problems that may occur when using smoke bombs and some tips on how to handle them. 

How to Choose Smoke Grenade for Photography?

A smoke grenade elevates images by adding that extra element of drama and flair. With so many various styles and colors available in the market, it can be quite a task to decide which is best for you. Here's a quick guide on how to choose the best smoke grenade for your next photography session. 

1. The Type of Smoke Grenade

The two major types of smoke grenades include those giving a lot of smoke and those throwing a thick cloud of smoke. Therefore, if you are looking for those swirls of smoke in your shot, then you'd need a lot of smoke emanating from the canister. If you just want to add a little atmosphere to the set, then a thinner cloud of smoke is going to be fine. 

2. The Color of The Smoke

person in the middle of colorful smoke bomb

Photo by Kamil Feczko on Unsplash

Smoke grenades are available in a wide variety of colors; from traditional white to such vibrant shades as pink and green. So, when selecting the color, it needs to make some sense regarding what it will add to your photograph. For instance, if you are shooting against a bright blue sky, a white smoke grenade will help your photograph get a little contrast from the background. 

3. The Density of The Smoke

Besides the total volume generated by a smoke grenade, you will need to check on the density of the smoke being produced. A thicker, more dense smoke will therefore be better for creating swirling effects, while thinner smoke will be better for creating a more ethereal look. 

4. The Size of The Smoke Grenade

Nowadays, since there have been so many new ways of using smoke grenades, the market provides different sizes: small ones and large ones. Choosing the size depends on the effect you want to have while using it. If you need a large space filled with smoke, then a larger smoke grenade will work best. If you only need a little smoke, then a smaller smoke grenade will do.

There is so much to consider with smoke grenades, but taking the time to choose the right smoke bomb for your needs will ensure you take some great photos. 

Where to Buy Smoke Bombs?

If you're all about the smoky drama that brings your pictures to life, smoke bombs are a must-have. But where do you get them? Here are five great options: 

1. Enola Gaye

smoke bomb product from Enola Gaye

Image Credit: enolagaye.com

Enola Gaye is known for producing a top-notch smoke bomb in the photography market. They are ideal for photography because of the quality of the smoke, which is very thick and sits in the atmosphere for a good duration of time. Plus, they come in different color options and, therefore, one can make different kinds of effects with them. 

2. Peacock Smoke

smoke bomb product from Peacock Smoke

Image Credit: peacocksmoke.com 


Peacock Smoke creates large smoke bombs that are ideal for coming up with huge smoke clouds. The large smoke bombs within it explode out, creating large roiling clots of smoke. These bombs are spectacular for your pictures, as they produce very significant dramatic effects. They are available in different colors, so you can go for the right one to suit your photography needs. 

3. Smoke Effect

smoke bomb product from Smoke Effect

Image Credit: smokeeffect.com

Smoke Effect makes smoke bombs that are perfect for creating all types of different effects. They come in many colors and sizes to perfectly meet your needs. Also, they are relatively affordable, hence a good option when you are on a budget. 

4. Shutter Bombs

smoke bomb product from Shutter Bombs

Image Credit: shutterbombs.com

Shutter Bombs offers smoke bombs ideal for photography. They come in a variety of colors, so you can always find one that suits your preference. Their smoke bombs create smoke that can stay in the air for quite some time to add that dramatic effect to your photos. 

How to Tackle the Issues When Using Smoke Bombs in Photoshoots?

There are several safety concerns that you need to be aware of when it comes to smoke photography. Here are some tips on tackling the issues: 

1. Use Smoke Bombs in Well-Ventilated Areas

If you're considering the use of these smoke bombs indoors, you should be cautious since the fuse on the bomb can be unpredictable. The quantity of smoke produced by these smoke bombs is also quite high, so make sure that you use them in a well-ventilated environment. Using them indoors will require you to open all windows and doors to enable the smoke to exit the area quickly.

2. Don't Use Smoke Bombs Near Flammable Materials

There is never a time when using smoke bombs will be free of risks. Keep flammable materials away, along with whatever may catch fire; paper, straw, or the like. 

3. Don't Use Smoke Bombs Near People With Respiratory Problems

a man holding colorful bombing smoke

Photo by David Becker on Unsplash  

Make sure you evacuate anyone with respiratory problems from the building when using smoke bombs. If they happen to be there and it is an asthmatic attack or other condition in which the developing suffocation could do damage to their health, then immediately call for help so they can get medical treatment at once. 

4. Be Careful When Handling Smoke Bombs

Smoke bombs can be very dangerous if not handled properly, so careful handling is necessary. Do not throw or drop it, and never attempt to make one. If you are unsure of how to use one safely, ask someone who does. 

5. Follow the Instructions on The Smoke Bomb

There are no two smoke bombs that are the same, so it is recommended that the instructions along the package be followed to the latter. One should know for how long the smoke bomb will be effective and how much smoke will be produced. 

9 Tips for Stunning Smoke Bombs Photography

Smoke bombs are a fun way to express your photography prowess, but the element of safety is equally essential. Follow these tips to ensure that your photoshoot with smoke bombs will turn out great. Also, do not hesitate to seek help from an expert about the proper use of a smoke bomb if needed. 

a man holding bomb smoke in front of a lake

Photo by Thomas Bjornstad on Unsplash

1. Plan your shoot in advance

Make sure that you plan the details of your smoke bomb shoot. Think about the location of the smoke bomb in the shot, what background to use, and any other elements you may need to include in the image. You may include objects like props, animals, or people in the shot. 

2. Use a Tripod

A tripod can be the perfect way to keep the camera stable during a long exposure shot. This mostly comes into play when you have to use slow shutter speed to catch the motion of the smoke. 

3. Set Your Camera to Manual Mode

Smoke bombs require you to fully take control of your camera settings. Switch your camera to manual mode so that you can set both the shutter speed and aperture, as well as the ISO. 

a  male portrait behind a purple smoke bomb

Photo by Peter Forster on Unsplash

4. Use a Slow Shutter Speed

A slow shutter speed allows you to record the motion and flow of smoke as it billows through the air. Look out for a shutter speed of about 1/15 second or slower. 

5. Use a Wide Aperture

A wide aperture, like f/2.8 or wider, helps bring the entire frame into focus while creating room for a shallow depth of field. This is vital to ensure your whole frame stays in focus and avoid blurriness, especially with a slow shutter speed. 

6. Use a High ISO

If you are using a slow shutter speed, then you will require a high ISO to keep the camera steady. It also comes in handy when you want to freeze the movement of the smoke in your frame. 

a girl among yellow smoke bomb

Photo by Tom Roberts on Unsplash

7. Use Off-camera Flash

To add some light to your frame, set up a flash that will also help freeze the smoke. If at all possible, use an off-camera flash to get the best effect. 

8. Experiment With Different Colors

Smoke bombs are usually available in a wide variety of colors so don’t hold back, let your creativity run wild. A specific selection of colors can create various effects, so try a few and see which you like best. 

9. Have Fun.

Smoke Bomb Photography is all about experimenting and having some little fun while at it. So get out there, try a bunch of different ideas; then finally capture what you feel resonates with you. 

super cool girl behind magenta smoke bomb

Photo by Joshua Fuller on Unsplash


It's going to be a blast when shooting with smoke bombs but it's essential to be safe and knowledgeable on the subject. We hope that this beginner's guide covers everything that you need to know when it comes to smoke bomb photography. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and take some amazing photos. 

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