Timing is everything!
This exercise is all about super fast shutter speeds and capturing freeze frame from rapid movement in order to see images in a way the naked eye can’t.
I thought I’d use the kitchen table as it is black glass and this would work with a black background and show some reflection of the subject. I setup my camera on a tripod (again! I’m almost familiar with it now) and had to do a couple of things to get enough light for the subject to be lit; increasing the ISO to 2000, and to find a studio light to put on the left hand side of the image. The studio light also gave strong sidelight which I thought would enhance the smash/splash. I then focused the 70-200mm lens using Manual focus on an area of the table and set a high image burst rate.
I grabbed the first thing that I thought would create a smash, an egg. But after a few attempts, all I got was something similar to the following:
No real splash that would show the fast shutter speed impact I was looking for. Timing was clearly really important with this subject and I became bored very quickly, especially as it was quite messy. So, I moved to dropping a strawberry into a glass. Something I’ve seen others do. Even with this subject timing was important and it took a few attempts to get close to the effect I was looking for, although along the way the shutter speed was capturing a freeze frame smash images.
It wasn’t as messy, so a quick mop up and kept going until finally, I got the timing right and had both a splash and a strawberry in the shot.
So what did I learn?
- how to think about taking a superfast freeze frame image: background, light, use of the camera,
- even 1/2000th of a second is slightly too slow,
- the high ISO made very little difference to the quality of the final image,
- expect lots of failure and that may trials are required to get the image you are looking for,
- and finally, to be careful of reflections, as I hadn’t spotted the reflection of the room on the left of the final image. It’s a distraction from the main subject.
On reflection, as I was unsure of the ‘how to’ element of the exercise, having not undertaken this kind of image previously, I focused on the technical elements, and gave minimal thought to the artistic or narrative element of the image.