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How to shoot abstract water images - Here's how you can shoot abstract water images a really easy way.
- External Flash
- Constant light source
- TTL Cord (from Phottix)
- Waterproof sheet (or bin liner) for protection of the carpet!
- Tea towel or cloth for cleaning up spillages
- Tripod for camera- Vanguard's Alta Pro 263AT has a central column that can go from zero to 180-degree angles which means you'll be able to get right over the top of your bowl of water.
- Tripod for external flash
- Macro lens
- Bowl for the water
- Food colouring
- 1/8000 sec
- 400 ISO
I connected the camera to my external flash using a TTL lead as I wanted the source of the flash to be ‘off camera’. The flash was set to full power to make the water slightly more translucent.
The light (number 2 in the photo) is part of a lighting kit but it could be substituted with a lamp with a strong bulb.
The bowl was filled about two thirds full, mostly in an attempt to reduce splashing (which failed) but also because it meant that if I stuck to the same water level each time I had to refill it that messing about with the focus was kept to a minimum. If you struggle with focusing, try floating something on the surface and manually adjust the focus, then remove the object and wait for the water to settle.
Next I filled a small jug with water and added food colouring and glitter. The main reason for using a jug is that you can be quite accurate as to where you pour the water and it creates a good effect when it hits the surface of the water.
Another way in which I found you could easily control the timing of the drops of water was to dip a kitchen towel or other cloth and then cause the water to drop by gently squeezing. This was messy though and so I would really recommend the first option!
After a while I started to swirl the water with a BBQ skewer and then started to gently throw things into the bowl. If you do this you need to really take care if you're in your living room with a light coloured carpet! You can get some interesting effects from it though.
I also refilled the bowl every couple of shots so I could control how much colour was in the water for each shot.
The main problem I had was taking the photo at the right time, I did not have anyone to help with this and a self-timer would not have made it any easier. In the end I decided to do it the old-fashioned way and pour with one hand and take the shot with the other.
Find the tripods and bags to suit your needs at www.vanguardworld.com