I’ve tinkered with high speed flash photos of splashing liquids here before, and recently we were provided an opportunity to use the equipment and techniques for a client. It proved to be a fun and exciting process, if a little wet. Fortunately, the studio floor can handle it.

We started by arranging our hero fruit, kiwis and strawberries, into a shape that fit the layout. I had thought we would need to set this up in multiple arrangements and bring them together digitally, but I found a way to defy gravity in a way that would keep them stable enough to stand up to the drenching they were about to receive. The set, fruit arranged in front of a textured stainless steel sheet, was lit with Einstein E640 heads that were rented for the job. These are nifty monolights that can generate flash durations as short as 1/13,500 sec. I found that a power setting yielding about 1/4,000 sec provided us with sufficient stop motion, yet enough light for adequate depth of field.

base

The base image was shot, and then the water began flying. This was the fun part. I found pouring the water into a large spoon at the edge of the frame provided a nice splash that had a bit of an upward motion to it, and spread out nicely. Timing the exposure was done manually, and their was some hit-or-miss, but, happily, more hits than not.

splashcomp

Selected portions of the splash images were placed onto the base image, and unwanted areas were masked off in Photoshop. Subtle movements occurred with the impact of the water, but fortunately, nothing too large or disastrous.

base2-3

The final resulting image required about 40 captures, about a quarter of which were used as elements.

saxman161006_sm-207

A second image was created for the upper corner of the layout in a similar fashion, with just a single piece of kiwi and strawberry…

cornersplash

The two final photos were blended together after having rotated the second 180 degrees, and dropped into the layout comp (along with a third photo of fruit for the lower corner), which looked like this…

SM-35700 WO CIG STRAW KIWI LTO 2f99 UPR_v2

After much fine tuning of images, composition and masking, the final files were delivered to a happy client .

 

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