Home photography ideas: make a splash with high speed and flash

Watch Video: Home Photography Ideas – Make a splash using flash

High-speed photography is a fantastic way to capture dramatic effects. A popular subject is capturing a photo of fruit splashing in liquid; freezing the moment an object breaks the surface of the water makes for great splash photography.

The setup may seem complex, but all it takes is a bit of preparation beforehand, some photography and flash know-how, and a good dose of patience! We used a macro lens, but a standard zoom or even your kit lens will do.

Here we’ll show you how to create your own tabletop studio and set up your camera and flash to capture high-speed action.

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Our goal is to capture the cherry just after it pops to the surface of the water, but before it sinks to the bottom of the container. And in order to freeze the action at the exact moment the cherry splashes, we’ll use an external flash.

By illuminating the fruit splatter from the side, we’ll give more depth and dimension to the subject – and also avoid unpleasant shadows or light revealing unwanted reflections or imperfections in the glass.

It’s not an exact science, so finding the right timing is a bit of an experiment. So what are you waiting for? Grab some fruit and let’s get started!

01 Manual for full control

In manual mode, set your shutter speed to its maximum flash sync speed (typically 1/180-1/250s, depending on your camera). Set a narrow aperture, such as f/8, for good depth of field and keep your ISO as low as possible for noise-free shots.

02 Master plan

You can obviously use a set of remote triggers to trigger your strobe, but if your camera has a pop-up flash, this can serve the same purpose. To set the pop-up flash as master, we go to the flash control settings menu and enable flash firing. Then we select Built-in Flash Func, then in the Wireless Func menu we select the option to trigger only the off-camera flash.

03 Set Slave

Again, if you’re using a set of triggers, you don’t have to worry about that. If you are using your pop-up flash as the master, set your flash to its slave wireless setting and to the same channel as the camera. Select the manual flash output and you can adjust the output via the camera’s flash settings menu; we started with 1/4 power.

04 Pre-focus

Take a spoon and submerge it in water, roughly where your subject will fall, and pre-focus – now switch your lens to manual focus to lock focus. Several attempts may be required to obtain accurate results.

05 Spread the light

Light surfaces, like glass, can be difficult to photograph because they are so reflective. If you fire a burst of flash in the direction of the glass container, you’ll capture lots of imperfections in the glass – and lots of fingerprints and dust, even if you cleaned it before you started. Place your reflector’s translucent diffuser panel between the setup and the off-camera flash to soften the light.

Read more:

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