Brighten your Monday with these incredible photos and videos of fireworks, colored smoke, and powder explosions!


posted Monday, November 11, 2013 at 1:47 PM EDT


It's a grey, Autumnal Monday in much of the world. How about something with a bit of color to brighten it up? We happened to discover a series of completely unrelated but equally gorgeous images and videos, all of which involve colored smoke, powders, and explosions — which seems the perfect antidote to a Monday morning.

Swiss artist and photographer Olaf Breuning has a series of images stretching back to 2008 called "Smoke Bombs", each of which show an array of smoke bombs on a scaffolding, blasting their colored trails into the sky.

2011, SMOKE BOMBS 2, C- PRINT, 120 x 150 cm Edition 6, by Olaf Breuning

Breuning works with much more than just these smoke bombs, he also does photography of painted people — and works with other media, such as installations, sculpture, shows, and film.

In a similar vein is the work of Irby Pace, whose Pop series are traditional landscape and city photos, but with small puffs of brightly colored smoke dramatically changing the images. According to one interview, Pace achieves these literal explosions of color by using helium balloons, string, and smoke cannisters.

Red Pop by Irby Pace

Slightly less vivid, but no less exciting, is this video from Frank Sauer. With the help of free runners Max Bawey, Henrik Dymke, Elvis Jung, and Eric Terrey, he sent them running, tumbling, and flipping through smoke and colored powder. By artfully combining slow motion video, drone shots, and some incredible editing, it's an astonishingly cool short. To shoot it, Sauer used a Sony FS 700 with a Metabones Speed Booster, a Canon 5D Mark III loaded with Magic Lantern, and Canon 14mm f2.8, 24mm f1.4, 50mm f1.2, and 70-200mm f4 lenses.


Finally, if you want to try some of this brightly colored work yourself, PhotoExtremist has a tutorial post and video about how they setup, shot, and edited a photoshoot with brightly colored flour being flung at a model. It's a fairly detailed look into everything from what went into the powder, to how they lit the scene, and even the Photoshop tweaks for the final results. So if these images and videos have piqued your curiousity, here's a great guide to trying it yourself!


(via Colossal, PhotoJojo, PetaPixel, ISO1200)