Billows of Incense Smoke Form Interesting Shapes


There may be a great fire in our hearts, yet no one ever comes to warm himself at it, and the passers-by see only a wisp of smoke. – Vincent Van Gogh

Smoke and smoking is and has been an obsession of sorts for most people. Whether we talk of smoke from a lit cigar or of smoke figuratively, no one will deny that we have a fixation on the either light or dark vapor. Laura Wasabi is certainly no exception.

incense smoke

She expressed her passion for smoke through some creatively bizarre images of smoke billowing into shapes that can only be described as wraithlike. She shot smoke from burning incense using a Canon 30D camera mounted with a 50mm lens, and enhanced and edited the shots using Adobe Photoshop.

incense smoke photo

She claims she “tried to find some interesting shapes smoke made and “glue” it together.” The results are incredible, often looking like kaleidoscope patterns, but made of smoke.  One could also say that the images can have a hypnotic effect on you.

Smoke is actually an assortment of airborne liquid and solid particulates and gases emitted when a substance goes thru combustion or pyrolysis, along with the quantity of air that is entrained or otherwise blended into the mass.

photo incense smoke

It is usually an unwanted by-product of fires from candles, oil lamps, stoves, and fireplaces, but may also be utilized for fumigation in pest control, for communication such as in smoke signals, for defense and offense purposes in combat such as smoke-screens, cooking, or for recreation such as smoking tobacco.

Smoke is utilized in rituals, when sage, incense, or resin is burned to create a smell for certain rites. Smoke is often also used as a flavoring element, and preservative for a variety of foodstuffs. Smoke is also an element of the internal combustion engine exhaust gas, principally exhaust of diesel.

photo smoke

See Wasabi’s playful experimentation with smoke here.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.