The first thing was to put something on the floor to prevent it from getting messy. I kept a tub (which was not big enough to prevent water from spilling on the floor). So it’s always better to have a larger tub, you can use the toddlers inflatable pool works best for splash. Another thing was a bucket full of water and a mug or glass to throw the water and off course a friend who can throw water in the air while I capture it in my cam.
The Setup :
After the initial preparation it was time for lighting up the scene. As water passes by fast to capture it in mid air without any motion blur I required a fast light, so I chose a speed light to do the job (Digitek Manual Flash – costs Rs. 2300 INR ). As the name suggests speed lights have got speed to freeze an action (do keep in mind that in splash photography the speed of light matters more than the speed of the camera shutter).
So I put a diffuser paper (A butter paper roll – Costs Rs. 500 INR or $8 Approx.) and the speed light behind it with 1/128th of the power (do remember the lower the power will be the faster the light duration of the speed light will be). Also it’s always good to get a trigger for your speed light so that you can trigger it off camera.
I kept the difference of about 3 ft. In between the speed light and diffuser.
Do remember to shoot at a place which doesn’t have too much ambience light coming because a strong ambience light could ruin your shot.
I used a crop sensor camera Canon 60D along with kit lens 18 – 55 mm for this shoot (not the best camera or lens in town but hey! it works). So my EXIF details were:
Focal Length – 55mm
Shutter Speed – 1/200 Sec.
Aperture – F/18
ISO – 125
Final Action :
So it was now time for some action. I put the camera on a tripod and asked my friend to hold the glass at the place where the splashes will be coming in the frame, I focused on it and then put the focus on manual mode so that my focus remains the same throughout the shoot. After focusing was done my friend started throwing the water and I captured the splashes. It takes some practise to capture the splash at the right time but after a few initial shots we started getting some amazing splashes.
Post Production :
After all the action it was time for some post production work. I chose four different splashes out of 102 images I clicked to create this splash flower.
I first removed the backgrounds of the splashes in Photoshop using layer mask and magic wand tool. It’s always good to use layer mask to remove backgrounds because it retains all the layer information so in case you require the other details back you can have them without doing much efforts.
After removing the background I copied the layer of the splash petal and rotated it to create the flower pattern.
After creating the base I grouped the petals and copied the group to create some small petals to fill the gap in between the large petals.
Once I was satisfied I did the above procedure with the small splash petals which became the middle part of the flower.
After putting all the splash petals at place I placed the drops in the shot. I rotated, increased decreased the size of the water drops according to what was looking good to my eyes. I adjusted the layers of the drops so the bigger drops layers were below the bigger petals and the smaller drops layers were below the small petals.
After joining everything together I created a white background and over it created a blue background and erased the middle part of the blue background with soft brush leaving it with a blue vignette over a white base.
After creating the perfect background for the flower I merged the flower and placed it over the background and used Hue/Saturation to give it a blue color matching with the background color and here is the final result or Blue Splash Flower.
The Final Pic
“This image was inspired by the work of Alex Koloskov the owner of photigy.com”