Cease Movement With a Single Speedlight


At present was a day of a lot wanted motivation, so I made a decision to seize one among my speedlights and shoot a portrait with a component of movement. On this case, water.

For this shoot, I used an inexpensive Yongnuo 560 IV flash, Impact light stand, Westcott 26-inch Rapid Box, an Impact 5X7-foot black background, Canon 6D, and my eternally beneficiant spouse who’s a daily for serving to me with these fast initiatives. I fired the flash utilizing the Yongnuo transmitter that comes with the flash. Alternatively, you can use a less expensive umbrella and attain comparable outcomes or discover a easy black or darkish coloured wall. Don’t overthink it, simply get out and take a look at.

The first difficulty with the shot was clearly getting moist. We would have liked a option to comprise the water we’d be pouring over my head with out getting our set moist. The best method to do that inside can be to shoot over a small child pool or an analogous sized container and grasp a plastic backdrop behind the mannequin. Sadly, I didn’t have a pool and my indoor house was very restricted. As a substitute, I selected to attend till sundown and arrange my gentle and backdrop on our again deck. By ready till the sunshine was low, I might keep away from having an excessive amount of ambient gentle enter my scene which might be simpler to manage if I had been indoors. Once more, make do with what you may have and simply give it a shot. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look:

The following impediment was determining what settings would freeze the splashing water. Whereas it could seem to be your digital camera’s shutter pace can be the first element to freezing water, you’d be mistaken. As a substitute, we have to give attention to flash period which is the size of time your flash’s gentle contributes to the publicity. The time it takes a flash to fireplace is extremely brief — a lot shorter than the sync pace of your digital camera’s shutter which is usually 1/180 to 1/250 of a second. Subsequently, when flash is the important thing gentle in your picture, flash period would be the figuring out consider how frozen the movement is in your picture. Flash period varies significantly by producer and mannequin however a common rule of thumb is that the decrease a flash’s energy, the shorter the flash period. On this case, I attempted to remain beneath 1/32 energy to attain most period.

With my mannequin in place, I went about figuring out an publicity primarily based on my digital camera’s sync pace of 1/180 of a second. For me, this fell round f/5.6 and ISO 400 to make sure there was sufficient gentle given the low flash energy used. I additionally determined to put my gentle behind my mannequin going through barely ahead to accent the rim of the falling water. You can place the sunshine in entrance however it could obtain a really totally different consequence. Then it was only a matter of taking pictures a number of pictures, various the pose, and seeing what works. Listed below are a few of my favourite out-takes:

A few of the key takeaways have been to pour the water from increased up and at a reasonably fast circulation. This helps create a bigger splash on the level of contact which provides to the drama. One other factor I seen is that it is rather simple for the water to splash the entrance of your lens which ruins any consecutive pictures thereafter. So shoot with an extended lens, say 100mm, to have the opportunity and distance your self from the topic. Lastly, the vast majority of my photographs undergo from shallow depth of area and a flash period that was just too sluggish. This left a few of the water out of focus and brought on blur, which though not best for my given intention, didn’t wreck my pictures. As a substitute, I ought to have used a smaller aperture, say f/eight, a better ISO, and moved the flash nearer to account for the comparatively low energy.

This was clearly not an expert paid gig however it’s shoots like these that remind me how a lot enjoyable images could be. And it requires little greater than an inexpensive speedlight and a prepared participant which admittedly, was probably the most troublesome facet of this shoot. Give it a shot and see what you give you.