I’ve been so carried away about this trip around Australia that I haven’t posted much about photography. Which I pointed out to myself is supposed to be the main focus of this journal!

This week I’ve been having fun with freezing liquid movement. It was spurred on by the photo5 brief, Splat – Capturing action. Here’s a few photos That I captured last night:


Splash 4


The equipment

  • Canon 5D MkII
    • EF – 24 – 105mm f/4L IS USM
  • Speedlight 580 EXII
  • 2 x Tripods – One for the camera and the other for the flash
  • Off shoe flash cable
  • Remote release
  • Small bottle or a bulb liquid dropper
  • The kitchen bench
  • A large bowl
  • Slime
    • Corn Flour
    • Water
    • Food Colouring

Now before you make the point that most the gear here is relatively high end, I’ll make it clear that it’s certainly possible to get comparable results using a lower end set-up such as a Canon 450D, EF-S 17 -85mm IS USM and Speedlite 430EXII. You don’t *need* a remote release, you can just use the shutter button on the camera. It’s just a convenience thing. If you don’t have an off shoe flash cable, you can try to get creative and use white card as light reflectors. The cable however, is quite handy and allows you to make the most of the light output by bringing it closer to the action.

The setup

The setup I had was quite straight forward and you can see it in the photos below. One of the things that I learnt was that it’s really messy. I ended up with slime and flour everywhere! I recommend you do everything you can to cover your gear with cling wrap or something similar. A UV filter on your lens is also a good move.

Here’s photos of how I had my camera set-up. I didn’t cover any of my gear so it took some time afterwards to wipe everything down. It’s amazing that something that looks like a complete mess is the means to capture images such as the ones above.

splash-setup-2 splash-setup-1

Camera Settings

Most of my photos were taken at around the following; ISO200, 1/8000 second, f/18 with the flash set to fire at +2. Everything was set manually including focusing. I placed a spoon upright in the middle of the bowl to get the focus point right. From there, I used a high aperture to increase the Depth of Field. It took a few test photos to tweak the exposure settings but once it was set, the rest was about having fun and making a lot of mess!

There you have it, my strange setup to capture photographs of splashing liquids. I hope that it gives you some inspiration to capture some images of your own :) If you do try this technique, let me know. I would love to see how your photos turn out!

2 Responses

  1. That’s very cool, I need to get a better camera to try some of this stuff. :P

    Have you tried it with a white background? That might bring out the drops even more. Although I do like the dark atmosphere.

    1. All you need is a flash, or a really bright lamp. Your camera should be able to capture similar photos without any problems. 1/4000 of a sec is still darn fast!

      The background is actually white. in this instance, I actually pushed to turn it black.

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