Ideas: Water Portraits

So I mentioned before about using flash to capture high speed images. Well I decided to try it out some more with some friends of mine by capturing photos of them being splashed with water. As you can imagine, it was a strange thing to explain when I invited them over. So the premise here was pretty simple, we set up outside in the backyard and try to use a spot without any lights as our background to have as dark a background as possible. I tend set up my camera with a flash attached on the camera facing my subjects. I changed the flash power manually to 1 /32 to ensure a short burst of light.

As you may recall, a lower power for flash means a shorter burst of light which means better freezing of action. I had a couple of people helping me out since it was a bit awkward to do alone. I got a couple of bucket of warm water and had some towels handy. Then I manually pre-focused on my subject using a torch and live view magnification. I used a continuous shutter to get a better chance of capturing something awesome. Then it was just a case of firing of the camera while someone tipped the bucket of water on my subject.

We decided in the interest of fairness we would all take a turn at getting wet. As you can see, the results were pretty hilarious but also, thankfully, pretty awesome:

You see that photo where my friend has that small Olympus Tough Camera in his hand? Well it turns out he actually took a shot with that too and well it turned out pretty good as you can see below. So you might not need such fancy equipment to give it a try.

So if you have some friends who don't mind getting wet in the dark, grab them and give this a shot. It was actually incredibly fun. Looking back on it I think it would've looked better if I had set up some off camera flashes behind them with a colour gel to give the water droplets some nice colours. Oh well, something to try for next time.


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