Smoke is organic, free, shapeless, translucent and easily disturbed. Unsurprisingly, photographing it can be very challenging.
I started by light proofing my garage by boarding up the windows, sealing the doors and laying black cloth around the room. I then set the shutter speed of my camera to a very slow exposure.
I took the attachable flash head for the camera and used a piece of electrical-conducting metal to connect the flash head's metal contacts. This gave me a separate flash that could be fired of as and when I desired and that also one that could angled away from both the lens and the background to avoid over exposure.
I had the flash head on the floor and aimed towards the ceiling and had the lens of the camera on a small foot rest pointing towards the pitch black background I created.
I then put a cigarette in the path of the flash head and just under the view of the camera so that the smoke would rise in front of the lens so that when the long exposure started I was able to fire off the flash and capture beautiful and crisp images of travelling smoke.