I use a variety of tools to create practical effects in my photography.  Smoke, water or dirt flying through the air helps to bring life to my images. See below for examples.
Atmosphere Aerosol

Atmosphere Aerosol can be used add depth, contrast and of course, atmosphere to your photos. Best effects are achieved when backlit.
When backlit, the smoke can create striking contrasts and beautiful sun rays.
When backlit, the smoke can create striking contrasts and beautiful sun rays.

The smoke is also useful for obscuring distracting objets in the background.

Drain buster
To create spectacular water splashes or to get dirt and sand to fly through the air I use a Drain buster. It's a tool that uses compressed air to clear clogged drains or you can use it to create practical effects, your choice.

To "freeze" flying water droplets in mid-air you need as fast a shutter speed as possible.

Spray bottle
Spray bottles are great to create rain effects or if you want to have the reflections of small particles in the air.

Using a macro lens and a wide aperture creates circles from the out of focus water droplets.

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