As planned I tried to shoot smoke pictures. I created a gallery were you will find the first results. I definitely will try more often, to see if I can get a better quality. For now I am satisfied with the result but I wish I would be able to get the smoke a bit clearer. So I’m still looking for some incense that produces lighter smoke.
For those who do not know how to make this kind of pictures:
Use an incense stick to create smoke (smells nice as well while you work), and put some hard light from one side. Use a snoot or barn doors to keep the light from hitting the background. Use black paper as a background and start shooting.
Due to the fact you can’t control the smoke you just shoot (you’ve got to love digital) a lot of shots and hope you are lucky. Make sure you use a small lens opening (large f number i.e. f/22) And set you shutter to the sync speed of your flash (differs from 1/60s to 1/200s).
When you are done, import your photo in Photoshop (or similar program) and inverse the image ([CTRL+I]. If you are happy with the result you are done. If not you can play with the curves [CTRL+M] which can help you to make the smoke more clear. The images on this page were also rotated 180 degrees. (smoke travels up in most cases) Enjoy when you will try for yourself.