I really like the look of fog outdoors, in forests and such. I have seen a few behind the scenes videos with photographers using different methods (but I can't seem to find them now). The best one was one by Matt Barnes, who seemed to use something that looked a lot like a fire extinguisher.

I would prefer to stay away from traditional fog machines. Do you guys know of any canister type contraptions that put out fog?

  • You want something that creates fog, but not a fog machine? Jan 29, 2013 at 21:27
  • If you're in near-fog conditions (a little chilly and high relative humidity), a CO2 fire extinguisher would probably induce fog. There's also dry ice and water to try (and it would probably work best in similar conditions).
    – user2719
    Jan 29, 2013 at 22:10
  • Depending on where you're based, you may be able to buy a can, I think it's called 'Canned smoke', and is designed for testing fire alarms/smoke detectors, maybe an electrical supplies company. These are probably only for lower volumes, so it would depend how much you need Oct 12, 2015 at 10:09

2 Answers 2


You could use a number of different things to produce effects similar to fog. A number of pyrotechnics are available to produce large amounts of smoke. (Legality may vary depending on where you live)

In addition, if you are trying to save money, there are many home-brew versions of fog machines available for you to simply make yourself.

Depending on the types of effects you are after will determine what materials you need. You may even need something as simple as incense for a basic effect.

Fire extinguishers can work well, but definitely avoid the powdered ones as they leave residue over everything.

Hope that helps!


If you live in a town that has a film industry, check the local lighting rental companies. Some of them have a device that can produce a lot of smoke for outdoors. There is the gas powered variant, but then there is also the fuel powered variant which is more fun. It looks like a weapon from MIB. It's also really loud, but very effective.

A cheaper alternative is smoke powder if you only need smoke for a few minutes. You can get it at lighting rental companies as well.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.