Saturday, January 12, 2019

Liquid Art

f/11 Bulb ISO 400
3-red drops (November 2018)
 
f/16 Bulb ISO 400
3-red drops falling into milk (November 2018)
 
This is part 4 of our “Splash Art Photography with a Fujifilm GFX 50s”
We’ve done a lot of “wet photography” since our last blog on the subject (August 2018).  The more we shoot the more we learn and with that we hope to pass it on. We've included several samples of what we've been able to accomplish.
f/32 Bulb ISO 1000
3-green drops into clear water (December 2018)
 
f/10 Bulb ISO 400
2-orange drops into a dirty bowl (August 2018)
 
We began shooting drops using a large plastic container and since then we find ourselves using smaller and smaller containers. While the size of the well has changed the one constant is the use of cold water.  We’ve found that no matter the device we use to capture the drop the container works best if chilled. We've also learned that we need to have the container clean which means several changes of water during the process. 
f/11 Bulb ISO 400
3-red and blue drops (September 2018)
 
f/11 Bulb ISO 250
2-red and blue drops (September 2018)
 
f/11 Bulb ISO 400
3-red and blue drops (September 2018)
 
 
 
 
We’ve learned that environmental aspects of where we’re shooting have a large impact. We set our wet studio in our garage and while it’s insulated it nevertheless has no HVAC. Temperature and humidity play a key roll in how well our shots turn out as no two days are the same. We’ve found that a stopping for a couple of hours can effect the outcome.
f/32 Bulb ISO 1000
3-blue drops (October 2018)
 
f/11 Bulb ISO 100
clear water dropping into milk (September 2018)
 
While the above is true the water solution of the drop is critical. We attempt to create as near as possible the same solution of Xanthan Gum each time. A mixture of warm water and Xanthan stirred and left overnight works well, straining the mixture before using. The food coloring is the least of the concerns and we’ve found adding a small amount of 2% milk will enhance the color before topping off with cold water. I can’t give a precise ratio however a little of the gum, food coloring, and milk go a long way. This is where you get to experiment.
f/16 Bulb ISO 400
3-red drops (November 2018)
 
f/10 Bulb ISO 400
3-red and blue drops (August 2018)
 
We’ve been using a Cognisys Stopshot Studio connected to a Microsoft Surface Book II. This has worked very well for us. We’ve settled on using 2-3 flashes depending on the effect we’re looking for. We also use multiple backdrops ranging from glass to paper again depending on what we’re after. We have also been experimenting using various surfaces to place the container on which also depends on which object we’re using.
 
f/8 Bulb ISO 800
3-black drops (January 2019)
 

 
Camera setup is the simplest. We’ve been ranging from a tripod on the floor to a tabletop tripod and in some cases a Platapod®. We mount the camera in portrait mode both on and off a ballhead and focus rail. The camera is the same; a Fujifilm GFX 50s as is the lens, a Fujifilm GF120mm micro. I’ve shot using just the lens as well as adding both the 45 WR and 18 WR macro extension tubes. I have experimented using both tubes and found while it worked I was just too close. (In re-reading this I see I failed to mention using a wired shutter release which I do and feel mandatory.)
 
f/11 Bulb ISO 400
3-yellow and blue drops (September 2018)
 

We’ve been doing this often enough that setup is getting routine now. I’ll make the gum the night before. The table setup is fast and easy with the most difficult part now being choosing which colors to use.
 
 
f/32 Bulb ISO 1000
3-drops (December 2018)
 
f/16 Bulb ISO 500
3-clear drops into ice tea (January 2019)
 
f/9 Bulb ISO 400
3-orange drops (January 2019)
 
f/9 Bulb ISO 400
3-orange drops (January 2019)
 
Post processing is a key element to the images and using Capture One-12 has been a huge help. I now do well over 70% of post processing in C1-12 before sending the file to Photoshop. If you haven’t used Capture One before I suggest looking into it.
f/11 Bulb ISO 400
3-orange drops (January 2019)
 
f/11 Bulb ISO 400
3-orange drops (January 2019)
 
One final thought is don’t get discouraged. We’ve had countless times when we felt we weren’t capturing anything worthwhile however we resisted the urge to quit and reformat the drive. Not reformatting the drive was the smartest thing we ever did after spending time reviewing the files on our computer screen. We’ve shot anywhere from 1 to 3 hours at a time and well over 500 files on the card. We’ve gotten to the point that we only keep the exceptional images.
 
I hope this helps answer any questions that might still be lingering.

Don
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for your really good blog and techniques of splash art photography.

    The most asked questions among the photographer is that where to focus in an image. For splash photography I say that, if you dropping things into liquids, pre-focus either above the glass or where I want the splash to be. I do it with help of lighting stand. In my experience, for a good splash shot, using a fast flash duration, mirror lock up mode, right camera settings and pre-focusing are crucial.

    Best regards,
    Drop Shadow

    ReplyDelete