Posts by tag: flash

More Power, Igor!

Posted by Caz on Thursday, 24th November 2011

I have been taking a look at some of my recent water droplet shots and wasn’t really satisfied by the depth of field I was getting, compared to some other shots I’ve seen on Flickr:

Fuzzy crown at the rear

Fuzzy crown at the rear

Most have been taken with the two flashes at very low power – 1/128. One option is to up the power – but the further this goes, the longer the duration of the flash – which is not good for capturing the fast events of water drop collisions. So, the other option – more flashes all on low power!

Today I took delivery of another three YN560′s and wireless triggers. They are very reasonably priced and I’ve been very pleased with their performance so far. I thought it best to go for more of the same type since I’m used to their operation and any delays etc will hopefully be consistent between them all.

So I began to set up another shoot with all five flashes:

Five Flash Rig!

Five Flash Rig!

The first was at the rear behind the perspex, using my DIY softbox. The “main” one was using a DIY gridded snoot, while the other 3 were using plain snoots. I had just got it all set up and was preparing to play with the fluid when I realised my valve sensor wasn’t working properly. Drat. Well, it was getting late, so I decided not to persue it for today. But I shall do more investigation and report back.

In the meantime, I’ve taken a few shots of this to see how pin sharp I can get things at f/22:

How sharp is the pin?

How sharp is the pin?

Not bad, I think! I’m looking forward to getting them pointed at some water splashes soon.

New Home Studio

Posted by Caz on Friday, 11th November 2011

As you may know from some of my previous blogs posts about my mini studio setups, I have been using the kitchen in an ad hoc manner to take a lot of my macro shots. This is all very well, but it can be a pain if I want to leave the rig up (for water droplets, for instance) and still have room to make some dinner!

Help! Where has the cooker gone?

Help! Where has the cooker gone?

So I’ve been thinking about alternatives for some time. I’ve finally evicted all the rubbish from the spare bedroom and given my old sofa bed to a charity. With the addition of three folding camping tables and a couple of plastic tidy drawers on castors, I’ve transformed the room into a little studio where I can play with various shots and leave things up until I need them again, and store all my photographic stuff in a neat and tidy fashion, rather than it being scattered around the house. I’m pretty pleased with the space. Have a look for yourself:

View from the doorway

View from the doorway

Along the side wall

Along the side wall

Lots of storage!

Lots of storage!

Battery charging station

Battery charging station

Gerald & Jr relaxing

Gerald & Jr relaxing

Baggage and tripods

Baggage and tripods

Flashes and Wireless RX/TX bits

Flashes and Wireless RX/TX bits

Flash cables, gels and batteries

Flash cables, gels and batteries

Light modifiers - snoots, softbox, reflector

Light modifiers - snoots, softbox, reflector

Camera Axe bits and gorillapod

Camera Axe bits and gorillapod

Odds and ends

Odds and ends

Lenses and spare 30D body

Lenses and spare 30D body

More odds and ends

More odds and ends

Jugs, bottles and food colouring

Jugs, bottles and food colouring

Now it is set up, I’m looking forward to using the studio more over the coming months.

1st MoNovember ’11

Posted by Caz on Tuesday, 1st November 2011

High Key Spring Title: High Key Spring
Location: At home
Camera: Canon EOS 7D / 24-105mm EF f/4 L IS USM
Strobist: 1 x YN560 from camera left with Stofen softbox @ 1/32, 1 x YN560 from camera right with Stofen softbox @ 1/32 on background
Notes: Messing about with a high key look, just for a change. I used two flashes to flood the scene with a bit too much light. A happy accident, or intentional? Not telling! MoNovember has started.

Going Round In Circles

Posted by Caz on Friday, 15th July 2011
Boring Bubbles

Boring Bubbles

Today I took some time to play with a mixture of olive oil sitting on top of water. I used my macro lens and one YN560 @ 1/16 to light the shot from underneath. Not diretly, however, as this gave quite boring results initially [see right].

Also, this shows air bubbles in the oil, rather than the more interesting pool of oil separated from the water. So I had a rethink and came up with a better setup.

Oil and water setup

Oil and water setup

Firstly, this was all done on the floor. I laid down a large piece of white card and then on top of that placed the wrapping paper. The far side of the card was curved over to make a reflective surface to bounce back the light from the flash at the opposite side.

Then placing two plastic storage boxes and a sheet of glass, I made a makeshift table. The little bowl with the oil and water mix was placed on top of this.

Once again, even though there was quite a lot of light in the room, I was using ISO 200, 1/250 s and f/16 to give a black frame without flash. Once the softbox and flash were fired from the wireless triggers, this gave a nice exposure on the wrapping paper.

My 60mm EF-S f/2.8 USM macro lens was on manual focus and I moved myself about above the dish to compose the best shot and get into focus.

Here is a selection of the best shots from the session:

The Planets

The Planets

Fatal Attraction

Fatal Attraction

Resizing

Resizing

Three At The Edge

Three At The Edge

Circles Of Colour

Circles Of Colour

Planetary Surfaces

Planetary Surfaces

My favourite from the shoot made it as Day #1292 - Circular Motion. There are plenty more shapes and colours out there – why not have a go yourself?

Crowning Glory

Posted by Caz on Sunday, 10th July 2011

I had been hoping to get some crowns with my water splash shots but hadn’t had much luck making any. But I asked around on the High Speed Flash group on Flickr and got some good tips, so thought I would have another go.

Setup shot from the front

Setup shot from the front

This time, I was using skimmed milk with red, green or blue food colouring. It was dropped from 40-60cm with the pippette, onto a sheet of opaque perspex. I used one YN560 @ 1/64 with my new DIY gridded snoot to throw light onto the droplet landing zone.

Setup shot from side/behind

Setup shot from side/behind

This was lit from behind with one YN560 @ 1/16 through my DIY softbox and opaque perspex sheet, which gave a nice even illumination. As before, I was using ISO 200, 1/200 and f/16 which gave a blank frame without firing the flash.

Crowns weren’t evident with every drop, but I was getting them reasonably regularly. Still there was a lot of patience required though! Here are some of the best images from the session:

Almost A Double Crown

Almost A Double Crown

Mini Crown And Reflection

Mini Crown And Reflection

Beginnings Of A Crown

Beginnings Of A Crown

Low Profile

Low Profile

Blue Crown

Blue Crown

Into the drop zone

Into the drop zone

I’m pleased with these considering they were timed by hand, but I still need to be able to hold the pippette in place – I’ve just ordered a retort stand and some clamps from eBay which should help.

My favourite was one of the red images for Day #1286.