Tech Tuesday: Atmosphere in a Can

December 15, 2015

By RF Staff

If it was April instead of December, I'd think that Atmosphere Aerosol was some kind of April Fool's joke or meme. But after closer inspection, it turns out that it just might be a serious tool for photographers looking to capture rays of light in a way that is otherwise difficult to simulate.


Developed by two wedding photographers, Atmosphere Aerosol is an aerosol spray just like paint or hair spray. It creates a haze that catches rays of light in a way that is otherwise challenging to produce without a naturally occurring haze or one created by other more costly and cumbersome equipment. A 20-second burst of spray produces a haze that hangs in the air for a few minutes, assuming there is no wind or other air movement to dissipate the effect. Keep spraying for the can's maximum output of 5 1/2 minutes and the cloud could potentially last for hours. Atmosphere Aerosol can be used outdoors or inside, as long as the haze is backlit.

Comprised of 45 percent propane, 45 percent butane and 10 percent mineral oil, the first two ingredients are used as propellants (see safety FAQs below) and because they're flammable, the product is currently shipping only in the US via ground. According to the company, the spray will not stain or harm fabrics but because it leaves mineral oil in the air, it may create slippery surfaces on non-carpeted floors when sprayed in concentrated amounts.


The can itself is smaller than a 70-200mm lens, has no expiration date and, from the videos and still images we've seen, seems to work well in creating a romantic look that wedding photographers may want to add to their bag of tricks. For $12, it might be worth ordering a can to test it out prior to your next shoot to make sure that it delivers as promised without any ill effects. It's an interesting product that could easily become a standard part of wedding photographers' kits.


Important FAQs from Atmosphere Aerosol:

  • It is ozone safe and does not contain any CFC's or or ozone depleting chemicals.
  • The ingredients are propane (45 percent), butane (45 percent), and mineral oil (10 percent). When Atmosphere Aerosol is sprayed, a small, non-harmful amount of gas propels the spray and quickly dissipates, leaving the mineral oil in the air.
  • This product is not known to contain any chemicals currently listed as carcinogens or reproductive toxins.
  • This product’s ingredients are not found in the following lists: Federal, OSHA, NTP, IARC.
  • Breathing small amounts of this material during normal handling is not likely to cause harmful effects.

Price: $11.95