I’ve gotten pretty good at blowing smoke rings when smoking my pipe, and I can even do multiples in one puff. So that was what I wanted to shoot. But… we all know how those first ideas play out.
For the original shots: This is smoke from an oak chip that I kept lighting and blowing out. I lit the scene with a flashlight from the side and shot really underexposed so as to keep the background dark. My thought was to do mirror montage with the smoke. However, when editing my 250+ images, I couldn’t get the effect I wanted without a lot of crazy exposure and editing. Still, I did about 5 of those and they looked pretty cool - and almost uploaded one of them.
But… then I went back to simple. Just crop square and be done. But that seemed a bit less interesting so I went into photoshop and added a gradient layer and used Soft Light blending mode to add the color you see here. Third times a charm.