Bursting into flames or ending up in smoke are usually not happy occurrences. But as the following images show, smoke can be a medium and the shapes it takes an art form, limited only by our imagination. We’ve found everything from dancers to dragons, perfectly shaped in smoke. All it takes is a huge fire or, preferably, a couple of incense sticks, a good camera, a steady hand and some patience. And one thing is for sure – vanishing into thin air has never been so breathtaking.
Let’s start small, er, relatively speaking, with strange smoke rings and shapes.
Smoke rings are hard to do, especially heart-shaped ones:
The photograph below was taken during military operations in Al Taqadum, Iraq.
Like two giant wedding bands:
And this was the source:
Which can be done with a rocket launcher too:
… or with a C-17 Globemaster III:
Smoke faces can be massive, like the one accidentally caused below. The 2001 Steinhatchee fire in northern Florida burned more than 54,000 acres. Below is a view of the fire from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) imager.
After viewing 9/11 footage, many imagined to see devilish or evil faces rising from the World Trade Center smoke plumes.
A clear face close to World Trade Center 7:
Another face in the smoke plumes:
A devilish face on the side of WTC3?
From the very large we divert our attention to the smoke faces or figures rising from candles or incense sticks. Beautiful to watch, we are mesmerised by the accidental shapes smoke can take – the shape of a woman with long hair, for example, often sitting or dancing.
Smoke coming in our out? See the face with the long nose bottom right?
Blonde sitting with crossed legs:
The energetic smoke dancer:
Dancer in the middle of a jetté:
Reclining girl in a long dress emerging from a match stick:
Last but not least, a cool smoke dragon. Or whatever you want to see in it. In either case, time to light a candle and get to work.
“Smoke Dragon” – or a face with a beard?