Talk about an ethereal subject. Pure smoke is about as intangible and unpredictable as anything you could think of putting in front of your camera. These beautifully frozen images were the result of literally thousands of attempts by photographer Thomas Herbrich.

Herbrich set up a high speed flash and fired his shots at a shutter speed of 1/10,000 firing at 1/10,000 of a second to freeze the undulating white formations of smoke. Over three months and over 100,000 exposures, only about twenty were deemed perfect enough to present. Herbrich then applied some post-processing to clean up the images, and what you have are some gorgeous organic abstractions. Looking at the plumes reminds of staring at clouds in the sky as a kid.

Check out more of Thomas Herbrich's work on his website. [This Is Colossal]