Photo of the Week “Dunking”

With the new year beginning I have made a commitment to create new images each week (at least through the winter)- pushing myself beyond my comfort zone with new creative subjects that I typically do not photograph. This week I experimented with water.

2016.01.03_PER_Water Droplets_DNG-January 04, 2016-2

First I set up my camera on a tripod. Then I set up my flash which was remotely triggered to hang directly above the glass of water. The background changed along with what I dropped in the glass and the container itself. I also added a removed an additional flash to the left of the glass, sitting very close. Ultimately I liked the above image best. The background was a dark red blanket and the glass was sitting on a wood bench. The most difficult part was timing dropping the grapes in the water and clicking the remote to trigger the shutter. My setting varied based on the flash power and distance, but all the images were shot at f9 and 1/4000th (ISO varied from 400-800) with my 70-300mm at 300mm. Because I was doing this all on my own, I had to drop the grapes, keep my hand out of the way of the above flash and trigger the shutter while not getting in the way of the lens. 2016.01.03_PER_Water Droplets_DNG-January 04, 2016-3

The other big challenge was focus. I used auto focus to get the front of the glass sharp, then changed it to manual to keep the focus the same. However, in retrospect I think I would have tried to focus in the center of the glass more because when the grapes fell towards the back of the glass it was soft. The most successful water images have the droplets very sharp.

2016.01.03_PER_Water Droplets_DNG-January 04, 2016-4

Another challenge was reflection. I ended up tenting the entire area to block sun rays coming in from my kitchen windows. A dark room would have been best, but you do what you can. Experimenting with backgrounds, lighting and different objects (I also tried food coloring) was really interesting. What is most interesting is what I thought was best while I was working did not turn out to be my favorite.

check out my set-up:

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