52Frames – 2021-14 – Fast shutter speed

After the “slow shutter speed” of previous week, there was a “fast shutter speed” for last week! (Yeah, I’m a bit late posting.) The secondary theme was “drip water photography”, so that’s what I did. I must admit I put in far less effort than in last year’s picture with that theme – I did want to try things out with a black background, but I didn’t have much time or motivation to do it well. In particular, I’ve been quite lazy with lights – and using the flash may have been counter productive there because the flash sync speed is pretty slow!

But, anyway – I got the picture; I’ll need to play with that again at some point – but better. Probably next year when that theme comes around again 😉

52Frames – 2021-13 – Fast shutter speed

Another 52Frames where the extra credit, “Rear Curtain Sync”, made me experiment with my flash 🙂 The theme was “Slow shutter speed”, and the idea of the “rear curtain sync” is to have the flash sync just before the shutter stops. Hence, you can see the movement of the object, and the end of the movement “frozen” by the flash.

It took me a while to find something that would work – I experimented with playing cards and (not exactly seriously, but for Science™ purposes) with me dancing in front of the camera until I got the idea of a pendulum (“that would work okay”) and got the idea of using some of my sparkly pendants (which I had bought from Kit Rocha’s Market Square) to get the image. And, after a few tries (and moving in front of a dark background instead of a white one), I got the image I submitted (above).

I also processed a couple of outtakes:

I liked the streaks on that first one better, but the pendant itself felt more distracting, especially with the reflection of the flash. The second one I’m… almost regretting not choosing for my entry – I only processed it this morning, and after processing I think it may be better. However, the pendant in the middle is really not sharp enough to my taste (I think it’s a focus issue more than a movement issue, which sucks).

Still, it was nice experimenting – and I’m particularly proud of these because it was almost a break of my (now) 65-week streak (and now that I have passed 64, I have no choice but to continue to 128, right?)

52Frames – 2020-16 – Fast Shutter Speed

Well, I think this one may hold the record for “number of shots taken for a single image” – I currently have more than 300 pictures on my drive for this theme (with a LOT of them actually not showing anything).

The 52Frames theme this week was Fast Shutter Speed, with an extra credit for Drip Water Photography. I kind of always wanted to experiment with drops and liquids and so on, so it was actually the right opportunity for that. I first vaguely looked on the Internet to try and get an idea of how to achieve that, enough to get me started, experiment, experiment again, experiment again, and eventually make images I liked 🙂

The very beginning of the experiments looked like this:

I hadn’t colored water yet, and I was trying to setup focus in a reasonable way, by using a small red thing (technically the plastic brush for the garlic press :P) where I would expect water to drop when I’d drop it. I had set up a couple of lights too, because for sure I needed MOAR LIGHT to be able to increase the shutter speed at a level I wanted.

The final setup ended up with the water plate set on a higher plane (actually, the yellow kitchen trolley behind me, minus the yellow cover), the same set of lamps, and a bit of ink in the water to get a more colorful shot.

What ended up working, generally speaking:

  • After a few experiments at both slower and more rapid shutter speeds, this one was taken at 1/500s – anything from 1/250 to 1/2000 seemed to work okay to get at least SOME images.
  • This means: Light. More light. Even more light. Seriously: never enough light. The reason for me to move the plate higher up was to get more of these precious photons, considering the fairly high tripods that my LED panels were mounted onto (I could have played it differently, but in the end that worked out as I wanted).
  • Pushing the aperture as much as possible DOES help making sure that more things are in focus – this one was taken at f/10 (on a 50mm with a full-frame camera). Even if that meant underexposing a fair amount, I think that eventually paid off.
  • ISO 100 was a must, because that was the only way I didn’t get a picture that was essentially noise – especially since I did tend to underexpose (mostly by lack of available light and trying to cheat on focus more than creative choice)
  • I removed the remote quite quickly because I got lazy when it came to check exactly I could get repeating shots with that thing – I ended up setting up delay + burst of 10 pictures directly on the camera, and timing the water drops in the time where the camera was bursting, and hope for the best
  • Experimenting with different ways of dropping water (from more or less high, more or less quickly) was actually pretty fun. I think this one was shot with drops coming from fairly high above, fairly quickly: the water is fairly disturbed.
  • I only played with a little plastic bottle that had a drip opening – I’d like to play with different sizes of drops, I think.
  • Better having a fairly low angle on the water surface – that might require handling the background, but the results are in my opinion just more interesting.

So, yeah, that’s how I spent most of my Easter Monday. And it was a ton of fun, and I think I’ll re-experiment with that sort of things later, because I’m very far from having any kind of mastery on the process, and it’s a nice, fairly low-tech thing to experiment with (with the exception of the lights, I’ll admit).