Week 3 – Colour

Week 3 - Colours

Week 3 has been a slightly disappointing one for me as I had this idea from the outset and haven’t quite pulled off what I had in mind. I mentioned before that whilst this is a fun challenge, my personal aim was to try to push myself outside my comfort zone each week both creatively or technically. so far it’s all turned out OK, but with the shots this week I’m just not happy with what I got compared to what I had in mind. I don’t think it was down to the technical side of things as much as it may have been with my technique. Perhaps I rushed it a little. Perhaps I didn’t prepare properly. I do know that some of the shots were ‘missed’ because of the time it was taking for my flash units to recycle.

The idea was to have a tank of water with different coloured food dye dropped in at the same time. I’m not an octopus and didn’t have a helper to hand so I couldn’t do this. I did notice though that once dropped, the dispersal was fairly slow, so I could have got a few colours in one after the other and still got the shots I wanted (i.e interesting patterns in different colours). That said, I seem to have missed the ‘best’ patterns because my flashes were taking a long time to re-cycle. Not something that’s usually a problem as I tend to have them at lower power than i did for today’s shoot.

I’ve included some shots of the set-up this week if anyone wants to try to have a go themselves at a later date. Should have been fairly straightforward.

Flashed were aligned next to the vase aimed at a white background (both on about half power to assure an even spread with enough light to completely overexpose the background.
Camera was on the tripod, pre focussed about half wat through the vase (I dipped a straw in and focussed on that).
Shutter speed was 1/200 on some and 1/250 on others – That’s the maximum synch speed I get – So exposure was controlled by aperture.

It wasn’t a total fail as I learned a couple of things (about my patience) and how to perhaps improve for another shoot another day.

1) Preparation – Always make sure that all of your batteries are charged before starting
2) Position of lights – These should have been slightly behind the vase I think. This would have made the reflections easier to deal with on the curved vase.
3) Props – A square tank would have been better than a curved vase, reflection and imperfections are much easier to manage if the glass is square on to the camera
4) Props – eye droppers would have worked much better than manually tipping the colouring into the water. I never had any
5) Helpers – Always handy
6) Keep going till you get the shot you want. Whilst there was no real time pressure to end the shoot I stopped before I got the shot I wanted. Should have just kept plugging away till I was happy.

Week 3 - Colours

So, that’s week 3. Would appreciate any constructive crit from you guys as well.

Week 3 - Colours

Let the week 4 planning commence.

Sparkling Water……

Sparkling Water

Bit of a rush job on the background, and still needs a bit of work to sort out the random reflections. With limited kit and for a first attempt with both water and a dark background (with no backdrop) was quite pleased with the result.

Taken on a kitchen worktop, I stood the glass on a reflector cover, black side up.
I had the 430EX on 1/8 power behind (and firing through) a white reflector to the left of the glass, and a snooted YN something flash on the second lowest power setting (I’m assuming 1/32), to the right. The snoot was a homemade one but did a good job of keeping the light off the wall behind.

Camera was on the tripod with a cheap ebay remote release. Water was poured from a normal jug, as I hit the button.