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Author Topic: I'm sorry - I mean no offense to the photographer, but....  (Read 5569 times)

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« on: December 05, 2008, 10:44 »
0
....I am sometimes very curious about the featured images on shutterstock's front page.  I have asked in the past and received the explanation that if you know the rules you can break the rules.  But this one I just don't get as a featured image:


Obviously, I'm off base, because there is so much I don't understand, so how does this image break the rules in a good way?  I've tried to shoot something similar time and time again just because I think water drops are striking images, and they never come out looking like what I'd want to submit like this:


Is it because the splash is kind of in the shape of a crown, maybe?

Am I being an ass?


« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2008, 12:45 »
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No you're not being an ass.

The first one is dodgey in my opinion. The crown splash is hard to get, yes, but in the example you provided I think it may be over Photoshopped. On splash images, there is usually some image cleaning that needs to be done because there are many fine droplets almost like a spray. But I usually try to keep the integrity of the original image. I have gotten a few nice crown splashes. One I did is on black, and even caught the ripples in the water wall that rises when the crown droplets form and spread.

High speed stuff can messy and is best done with a trigger, although you can get some good stuff by just trial and error shooting continuous frames with a powerful flash set for the shortest flash duration you can manage. I have gotten some cool results with the Nikon D3 and the SB800 with a SB600 slaved off of it.

Water is hardest to get, milk or heavy cream is easier because of the difference in the viscosity of the liquid. If using water, you could try and add some glycerin to the water. It will change the viscosity and the surface tension. Also try and vary the temperature of the liquid a little. I think very cold will result in more residual fine drops or spray, where a little warmer water will provde more of a "soft bounce" and slow down the drop formation.

There is a High Speed group on Flickr you might want to check out.

Also see this link I posted awhile back here for some inspiration

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/11/02/when-time-freezes-50-beautiful-examples-of-freeze-photography/

« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2008, 12:48 »
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Could be computer generated as well.

RacePhoto

« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2008, 13:17 »
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Instead of dropping water, drop a dime into the water.

I like your photo and it's difficult to capture that exact splash when a drop hits like that.

The example you showed looks like someone painted out the background and it looks grainy like it was sharpened and re-colored.

AVAVA

« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2008, 14:00 »
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Really helpful and professional advice Stormchaser.

Thanks,
AVAVA

« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2008, 14:25 »
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It looks to me like some kind of illustration. Just look at the reflections on a water. It looks like it's made of 5-6 slightly different colors. Also, what is the point of those strange corners?? (Left bottom and up right)

« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2008, 14:31 »
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For crown stuff it good to use a bowl or whatever with thin water surface , 2-3 mm.

Anyway I used to get good results ( but burned) using a PS camera and its flash and few small lamps.


Recently I bought 2 300W strobes , but I have no experience with those.

Anyway I tried to shoot some waterdrops with those strobes yesterday , but the thing is I can shoot at 1/160 with them and my 5D and that is too slow me thinks.

So can anyone share some advice or solution for that or I need more equipment for faster shoots ?

Thanks

« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2008, 15:00 »
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THe ideal setup is a dark room, a trigger, and the shortest flash duration possible.

Here is a link that is most suited to hobbyists,semipro

http://www.diyphotography.net/diy_high_speed_photography_at_home

There is more complex stuff out there, laser triggers, etc but really for those much more serious about it.

Here is the link to the Flickr group - quite useful

http://www.flickr.com/groups/highspeed/

Here is a rudimentary trigger kit from Makezine. Sort of like a school science project but it works.

http://makezine.com/flashkit/

And here is a high end kit from Kapture Group. Beyond the means of most, but some good examples and some learning here

http://www.kapturegroup.com/main_htmls/photo.html

Also see

http://www.hiviz.com/

Most of my splash work these days happens when I do a coffee shoot. I just strt dropping some cream into black coffee and fire a series using some rapid fire shooting. I'll shoot continuous of about 12 frames for each splash. You have to be really ruthless on the editing using this quick method, else your hard drive will fill very quickly.

If I get something good it's a bonus. Most of my splashes are for use as art files and haven't submitted any lately for stock.

It really is a good rainy day indoor activity. Have fun.

« Last Edit: December 05, 2008, 15:03 by stormchaser »

« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2008, 15:15 »
0
THe ideal setup is a dark room, a trigger, and the shortest flash duration possible.

Here is a link that is most suited to hobbyists,semipro

http://www.diyphotography.net/diy_high_speed_photography_at_home

There is more complex stuff out there, laser triggers, etc but really for those much more serious about it.

Here is the link to the Flickr group - quite useful

http://www.flickr.com/groups/highspeed/

Here is a rudimentary trigger kit from Makezine. Sort of like a school science project but it works.

http://makezine.com/flashkit/

And here is a high end kit from Kapture Group. Beyond the means of most, but some good examples and some learning here

http://www.kapturegroup.com/main_htmls/photo.html

Also see

http://www.hiviz.com/

Most of my splash work these days happens when I do a coffee shoot. I just strt dropping some cream into black coffee and fire a series using some rapid fire shooting. I'll shoot continuous of about 12 frames for each splash. You have to be really ruthless on the editing using this quick method, else your hard drive will fill very quickly.

If I get something good it's a bonus. Most of my splashes are for use as art files and haven't submitted any lately for stock.

It really is a good rainy day indoor activity. Have fun.







Nice reading , I would never come to the idea of shooting in the dark with shutter already open.

Thanks stormchaser.

« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2008, 15:23 »
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Anyway I tried to shoot some waterdrops with those strobes yesterday , but the thing is I can shoot at 1/160 with them and my 5D and that is too slow me thinks.

So can anyone share some advice or solution for that or I need more equipment for faster shoots ?

Thanks

for such fast speed photography what is important is your flash speed rather than your flash sync speed because they couldn't freeze the motion at such shutter speeds like 1/200 or 1/250 .Best solution is to get a flash with high speed and usually those small strobes has super fast speeds like 1/10000  usuing lower power also increases the flash speed.

« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2008, 16:05 »
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Here is one of my experiments with Nikon D200, Sigma 105mm macro and continuous frame shooting of about 8 shots with two strobes. I set up a small hot lamp left to try and get some highlight. This was more of an experiment to test the vessel, a purple bowl to see if it produced color and tone I liked.

So yes things are possible without triggers, just be prepared to take and ditch a lot of frames.

No retouch on this one - it's just straight from the raw file. Raw files will give you best latitude in processing.

« Last Edit: December 05, 2008, 16:08 by stormchaser »

AVAVA

« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2008, 16:18 »
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 Hi All,

 My College Photo Professor and my biggest mentor in Photography used to capture drops at high speed on large format with one single sheet of film. This was decades ago and they built an electric eye to trip the camera at the precise moment of the hit. Then they would bracket and shoot each sheet a bit differently till they nailed the frame they wanted. I still have all his old film archived because he didn't know what to do with it when he passed. If I can ever find a neg. sheet of one of his ancient but perfect droplets I will share it.

Best,
AVAVA

« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2008, 16:28 »
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Having spent a month in a studio many years ago trying to shoot this kind of stuff for stock I feel your pain.

The real problem is that you need a studio flash with a really short flash duration.
The only one on the market that does this is the Broncolor A4 or A2.

The Broncolor gear specializes in this kind of short duration stuff.

As for the timing of the shutter release...trial and error! Or maybe that's why it took us so long!

Cheers

N

AVAVA

« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2008, 16:39 »
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 Also multiple heads all slaved together at low power bounced off a reflector to remove multiple shadows might be another way to shorten flash duration while increasing power output and depth of field. I haven't tried it but it makes sense.

AVAVA

« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2008, 17:10 »
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I'm so stupid. Never thought of a reflector setup. Akthough I have experimented with papers like foil giftwrap to cause reflections on the water, and even colored patterned paper in the water.

AVAVA

« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2008, 17:22 »
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 That is what's great about talking over this stuff. I always have those moments when I read something and go DOH! That is so obvious why didn't I think of that. I love those moments.

 Light the background that is reflecting in the liquid ( opposite of camera angle ) is another good one for reflective surfaces. Gradate that back piece of foam core at the angle of reflectance to your subject. If you wanna go really 80's you can add a colored gel to the light, blue is the best for water. I prefer to light a colored piece of foam core instead of using a gel when I want a reflection or even a light source to have a touch of color, gives it a much softer less electric look.

Best,
AVAVA

« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2008, 17:27 »
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Yes have played arund with some gels on milk. Pretty interesting.

And just thinking about one f my previous posts and the liquid viscosity. I wonder how some chilled jello (dessert gelatin) wound work. I'll bet I could get some pretty funky globules flying around. I have some cherry flavor here. Maybe will try it with a blue gel after I get done with a work project.

Never thought about the colored foam core either. Thx!
« Last Edit: December 05, 2008, 17:30 by stormchaser »


« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2008, 17:37 »
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wow, thanks very much for all the info here.

Phil

« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2008, 19:21 »
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My setup is more simple, without any strobes and special equipment.  ;D After reading please consider me continuously a serious photographer. :)

1. on a bright sunny day
2. take a big blue plastic container and an
3. irrigating pipe.
Fill the container with water until it's full. Fix the pipe's end far above the water surface and loosen the tap very-very slightly so every 1-3 sec falls a water drop. Put the body on a tripod, the lens on MF, and the shutter on 1/2000 - 1/4000 and find a focus on the falling point. You may use a mirror to reflect additional light or any additional continuous light sources. Now comes the photography. Watch the drop falling and press the shutter or the wired remote. After 5-10 tryings you will be able to shoot at the right moment to catch the water drop falling into water and to photograph different phases of the effect.

« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2008, 20:53 »
0
Whatever works is good  :) I should have mentioned above I always use manual focus for this stiff. Auto will not work. I test my drop, and have a little rig of fine wire that will stand upright. I place it where the drop falls, focus on it, remove it, then continue with my drops.

AVAVA

« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2008, 21:36 »
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 Good idea on the focus with the wire. I even use a focus board for shooting models in low light situations that are strobed. We made a black and white checker board 12x12 inches that a model can hold in front of their face so my auto focus can find enough contrast to hit focus correctly.

Best,
AVAVA

« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2008, 14:29 »
0
It's just a simple wire loop, leaving a long end tail of a few inches. Then the long end is bent at a 90 deg angle to form an upright. Works like a charm. The loop base makes it stand up.


 

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