Gage Thompson’s Sinister Smoking Shot

Gage Thompson
© 2012 Gage Thompson

Gage Thompson is a Utah-based photographer specializing in skateboarding and lifestyle photography. Like so many photographers, we’re a sucker for smokey photos and Gage’s eerie portrait caught our eye.

Gage shot using the Aptus 22 back attached to a Mamiya 645-AFD II with an 80mm Mamiya lens. Of the back, he writes: “As for the Aptus 22 back, I love that thing. It’s still the sharpest sensor I’ve ever used. The files are just amazing to look at.”

Shooting in a dark room in eliminate any ambient light, Gage set up three Profoto Compact 600′s with standard zoom reflectors behind his subject to get some dramatic rim light and to illuminate the smoke. He used a longer exposure of about eight seconds to get the burning cigarette to glow.

Lighting diagram
Lighting diagram © 2012 Gage Thompson

“As for the inspiration part of things,” he writes, “I always have wanted to do a photo that included smoke. I just like the way smoke moves in the air and it photographs really nicely. I happened to have a buddy that offered up a great look for what I wanted — buzzed mohawk hair, gauges in the ears, and he also happened to smoke. As for the look, I’ve always been drawn to grungy, edgy, sharp photos. I wasn’t going for any kind of statement I just wanted to make a cool looking photo.”

However, the response to the photo has been divided — some think it would make a great anti-smoking photo while others think it makes smoking look way cool!

Gage Thompson - Mamiya
Gage with his Mamiya 645-AFD II © 2012 Gage Thompson

See more of Gage’s work on his site and connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram


All images and quotes in this post are used with permission and ©Gage Thompson, all rights reserved; story is ©Mamiya Leaf. Please respect and support photographers’ rights. Feel free to link to this blog post, but please do not replicate or re-post elsewhere without written permission.

Post a comment