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    Since we’re kind of on the subject sorta in another thread, this is a DIY project I did a while back to help a friend of mine who wanted to do some splash photography. She had no flash or any real studio gear to speak of.

    So one day we decided to do a shot to see what might be done with what things are at hand.

    As one can see I cheated and used a little bit of grip for this. Background stand and some light stands, but DIY substitutes can be easily had for these.

    The background is a roll of vellum paper and a halogen light behind it to light it. To further light the background I used two more halogen bulbs in clamp lights on each side of the front of the background. All continuous lighting. This is the correct way to light clear glass and translucent liquid on a light field. You don’t light the glass/liquid you light the background.

    To provide separation of subject and background you are going for the black outlines of the edges of the glass and to a lesser degree the liquid. In the environment (fancy name for “garage”!) I shot in there were no reflective surfaces close enough to the glass to reflect back and light the black outlines I needed which would have caused them to disappear. In the event I didn’t get those outlines I would have used black cards (flags) on either side of the glass and or background. I like black foam board but black paper, fleece cloth, lots of things can work. Without the black edges the glass would have disappeared into the white background.

    I took a shot (which I don’t have) to make sure the glass was going to be properly lit.

    The next step is to get a shutter speed fast enough to stop the pour/splash that I was going to try to record. I wanted enough depth of field to have the entire subject in acceptable focus. I chose f/9 because that gave me what I thought would be acceptable settings for ISO/shutter. I had to crank the ISO to 2000 to get a shutter speed of 1/2500th. I have no problems with shooting at high ISO values. The main thing is just don’t underexpose when you do and that will help mitigate the noise issue when you get in post and need to bring it back down. It is when you underexpose at high ISO and have to bring the exposure up in post that noise starts really rearing its ugly head!

    All that was left was to start making a mess! It took a few pours to get something I liked enough to illustrate the exercise, but the point is that you don’t always have to have a fancy studio set-up to get nice results.

    It should be noted that I did bring the ambient down before shooting by closing the overhead garage door. I raised it to shoot the bts shots.

    Behind the Scenes:




    The final shot:
    ISO 2000
    FL 98mm
    Shot on a tripod with remote shutter release.



    Looks good!  But, I don’t think you answered the most important question:  Did all the liquid get caught in the bucket or did it spill over?


    Are you kidding me Clicker? Lol

    Even the BRT (Big Red Tub) is no match for my mess-making abilities! I had liquid everywhere!

    This is another, more formal (i.e. done with studio lighting gear) and much more complex shot. Shot more recently.

    This was done with the studio flash stopping the motion rather than shutter speed.

    One frame, one shot.

    For this one I had to break out the kiddie pool, giant tarp, and wear a lifejacket!

    ISO 200
    FL 70mm
    Tripod and remote release.



    LOL!  Good results, even if you make a mess making them.

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