For those of you looking to take your photo sorcery to the next level (which should be everyone): this is the stuff. Liquid drops that combine to form INSTANT SMOKE!
It took twelve mad Italian scientists and some crazy ingredients (eye of the newt and such) to create the smokey plumes that these professional grade liquid drops give off.
Typically reserved for the pros (food photographers, prop stylists, wizards, etc.) they're the smoke behind the "smoke and mirrors" if you will. You won't find this stuff in the photo department. In fact we couldn't even find them in the U.S. -- we had to go all the way to Italy.
Simply combine a few drops of elixir A with elixir B, the more you use, the more smoke you'll see. It typically lasts 5 to 10 minutes.
Photograph lethal laser beams, set shiz on fire (for pretend duh), make your family *really* blow steam out of their ears, catch manifestations of good and evil, create super villains with radioactive smoking fingertips. Possibilities? Endless.
We haven't had this much fun since our Test Tube Adventures Chemistry Set turned our tongue green!
psst! Looking for some smoke elixir answers? We've written up a handy step by step Smoke EFX tutorial for you here.
Q: Alright these seem cool, but what the heck do I do with them?
A: If you're seeking inspiration you should check out our Tumblr post with tonso reader suggestions. There's also a super duper photog we found, Amar Ramesh, that's done some amazing things with smoke.
Q: No really, is this stuff going to turn my tongue green?
A: The drops are quite corrosive. Please, DO NOT PUT THEM IN YOUR MOUTH/ON YOUR SKIN/ON YOUR DOG. DO NOT PUT THEM IN TIN FOIL. DO NOT PASS GO etc. etc. But don't sweat it, there are plenty of materials you can use to hold your smokey substance's reaction that aren't your skin. In our experience, we've found that glass works best.
Q: What's exactly going on here?
A: SCIENCE!!!!! It's a chemical reaction between two, uh, chemicals. Here's what the back of the bottle says: "This product consists of two components, which have to be put close to one another (no need to mix or superimpose them) to trigger off a thread of vapor which will last some minutes.
Q: How much smoke will I get with one kit? How long does it last?
A: If you use just a few squirts/droplets you'll average anywhere between 5 and 10 minutes of new smoke being produced (on the lesser side if you're dealing with a breeze). Check out our video above for a sped up version of the chemical reaction.
Q: How about using these things outdoors?
A: For best results, you'll want to shoot on a calm, windless day and use an undistracting dark background to add contrast and make the smoke stand out. For some handy step by step instructions check out our tutorial.