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Tips & Tricks

How to Light A Glass For Great Splash Photography

By Hanssie on April 18th 2016

You can make some really creative photographs with high-speed photography. Fast shutter speeds and lights are the key components to success in freezing motion to make some spectacular special effects. From creating milky costumes for superheroes to taking your product photography to another level, there are many methods and uses for high-speed photography, and one of the most common is to freeze liquid to make a splash – literally and figuratively. Splash photography needn’t require much nor be extremely difficult.

One method is to use a laser trigger to help with the process. In the following video from our friends at The Slanted Lens, Jay P. Morgan shows you how to not only use a laser trigger for high-speed splash photography but how to light a glass for a cool product photo.

The Slanted Lens MiopsGlass

There isn’t an exact formula when it comes to high-speed or splash photography. All the work comes in the setup and then from there, it’s trial and error. In this instance, the first step is to properly light the glass. Jay P. points out that when you light glass, it’s about the light that goes through it, highlighting the shape and allowing a glow to come through. He does this by placing a Dynalite Baja B4 behind the glass and adjusting it to his liking. He also adds two translucent panels and a few more lights to light the sides of the glass.

high-speed-photography-The-Slanted-Lens-MIOPS-Setup-1024x573 (1)

The glass is set on an IKEA glass tabletop, and the final component is setting up a MIOPS laser trigger. When the laser beam is broken, the strobes will be triggered faster than the blink of an eye. The rest is trial and error.

As each ice cube is dropped in the glass, the timing has to be precise and the timer adjusted to get the look you want. Jay P. set his camera in bulb mode, opened the shutter with a remote to limit camera shake and adjusted his focus to the front of the glass. To see the entire process, check out the video below.

Gear Used:

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Ralph Hightower

    Awesome! Members of the local photography club gave a presentation two months ago about water drop photography.
    This is cool!

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  2. Alex Kartashov

    *Insert “Thank you” .gif*

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