Water Test - Just For Fun

Yesterday I was feeling particularly creative. I wanted to take some photos but it has been such crappy weather I couldn't find away around it. All that water got me thinking, maybe I could incorporate it into a shoot...it also made me have to go pee...twice. Anyway the first thing I wanted to try was dropping objects into a glass of water, which then turned into a wine glass, and then I realized I was going to need more help. So I called up a couple of friends and asked if they wanted to come over and help me take a few pictures...I told them I was going to be getting wet which seemed to creep them out for some reason...um I'm dealing with water here! I guess they don't understand my logic.  

So this is what we came up with and I am going to show you how we did it! "Money doesn't buy happiness, but all of us would like to test that theory", well the same goes for photography equipment. Not all of us are rich advertising photographers with the best lights in the market. No I just have a kit 18-200 zoom lens, SB900 flash, umbrella, black sheet, and Christmas lights.  Being creative is using what you got and...uh...being creative. You can do this with a simple hand held camera as well, just set the exposure for 2-3 seconds, have a very dark room, and any kind of flash you can manually fire.

I would be lying if I told you we knew exactly what we were doing. I knew the concept but making it happen was another story. Three guys in a one car garage trying to communicate with each other in 3 sec intervals, is amazing...only if it's done. We had are share of kinks. Me: "Ready? Go!....oops the flash is off." Or when we were pouring water into the glass, "oops I missed the glass."

How do you do it?

Contrary to popular belief, it you want to freeze a fast moving subject you don't want a fast shutter, you want a lot of light for a short amount of time (i.e a flash). You know those really cool photos of bullets going through balloons and you can see it? Well that was a slow shutter speed with a huge flash (strobe) going off which burns that image onto the film (or image sensor). For these photos I was shooting with a 3sec exposure, and manually firing the flash on the side with a umbrella for diffusion which stops the motion. I think it's awesome!

We started with just the flash on the side. Then I found some blue christmas lights and held them off camera to make the water blue.

We then took it a step furthur and had them hang behind the glasses.

Seeing is beleving. This was the basic set up. The thing you can't see is the yellow chair is actually on top of another chair! Very sketch...trust me. The wine glass only tipped over on me twice...

Then we went back to dropping objects into it.

Then we got board and decided to get some cranberry juice to add more color! You must understand that it took us around 3 hours just to get 50 photos. Lots of redos and mess-ups. "Alright now try pouring the liquid more from this angle. And this time I really want you to pour it in. And try to get most of it in the glass this time."

Here is the break down again with labels!!! This is almost one of my favorite photos just because how crazy everything was. The chair is on top of another chair. The ground is soaking wet because of all the spillage. But most of all we are having a blast. Not to mention Jason is getting very excited about throwing water on me in the next series called "Recycled Rain!"


Long story short, it was a blast, and I hope you learned something!

If you dig it, leave a comment and let me know which one you like best.

Have a creative weekend!





P.S Interested in prints? Click here and look around.

Peter Mahar - Destination Wedding Photographer - Portland OR