For this photo the following equipment was used:
Canon 5D MK III (more MP than my Canon EOS 1DX, handy since this image is for a poster).
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM Lens mounted on a tripod
Double daylight construction lights, behind the Viper to light the smoke.
Two small halogen construction lights, under the Viper.
Two remote controlled Canon Speedlite 580 EX IIstrobes on manual setting.
And a smoke-machine….
This was an indoor on-location shoot, which made it hard to compensate for the white walls. Therefore we started out with shooting it a normal light conditions (1/8 sec.) but with the smoke machine working (handled by Kevin).
Afterwards we shot series of the machine with smoke and proper strobe exposure. However, enough underexposure was available to make the background dark enough to be mostly invisible.
Four partial pieces of smoke were taken from these shots and added to the original image. Problem was we couldn’t produce smoke fast enough to get it as we wanted it to. Since the camera was mounted on a tripod it was easy to copy-paste these partials. By combining images it came out as I had imagined while still looking natural. This is the almost finalized image, in this version you can still see a few bits of background if you look carefully.