Again water and apples.. (got a nice collection of them for stock:-)
But this time, thanks to some good questions from participants, we got some interesting results, comparing canon speedlights lights and Paul C Buff lights. I’ll get back on this later.
I was using three Canon speedlights, set to be slaves on manual mode, ST-E2 Speedlite Transmitter mounted on a camera to trigger strobes.Why speedlights, not Alienbees or White-lighting monolights? This was one of the questions I’ve got from the class attendants.
The answer is simple: because of short flash duration. Speedlites at 1/8 -1/4 power will produce a flash something around 1/10000 sec (may be even shorter), while the shortest flash from the Paul C. Buff monolights is 1/2000 (according to CyberCommander) on AB400 at full power.
We need a very short duration when working with water splash. You’ll see the difference between 1/10000 and 1/2000 later in this article.
BTW, 1/2000 for a AB400 does not seem to be correct number for me. Looking at the images, I feel it is more like 1/800 sec. May be 1/2000 on t.5 method? Not sure.
Also, must say that CyberCommander (at least mine version of it) is really giving me hard time. Even working with lithium batteries (they said it may be due to luck of current), it lose flashes, lose setup, reboot itself, all this several time per photo-session. I like Paul’s products, but this one seems to be a beta version.
The lighting Setup:
3 Canon speedlight were used:
Number 3 (see below), Canon 580 EX II, from behind through white diffuser reflector panel and 10º grid with color gel, creating spot on a 2 stop translucent white background. 1/8 power.
The strobe form the right, Canon 580 EX was used with Paul C Buff beauty dish with 30º grid ( grid was needed to reduce lights spill on a backdrop diffuser panel: it should be black around the spot). 1/16 power.
I was using DIY adapters (recipe was originally found here) Watch the video, you’ll see what i am talking about here
Left strobe (Canon 430 EX) was on 80mm zoom at 1/64 power.
The same setup:
As you’ll see on the video below, we were throwing water from below and behind so that the apple created the splashes.
How to throw and what to use for is something you should figure out yourself. I can only tell that the shape of that little cup does make a difference.
The same setup was used for only water splashes:
Thanks to Louis Dina, who raised a question about a difference in duration between Paul C Buff lights and speedlights, we did a quick shot with the same setup using Alienbees and WL monolights.
Will the difference be really visible and can we still use Paul C Buff monolights for such type of photography?. I did not plan to do such a test, but now I am glad we did. We got predictable, but quite impressive results.
First, I replicated the same setup using 3 monolights: 1xAB400, 1xAB800 and 1xWL1600. See the whole and 100% crops:
As you see result is far – far away from acceptable. That thing is too slow for such photography.
Then we tried to use the shortest Paul C Buff strobe (I did not receive my Einstein units, so this is not an option for me for now), AlienBees AB 400, set at full power alone. According to CyberCommander it has 1/2000 duration of the flash impulse.
This is a little bit better, photo has less motion blur. But still, is not acceptable (at least for me) to use such images anywhere…
Just for comparison, full and 100% crop of one of the best images from the class:
90% crop of the same image:
Hope this is a self-explainable test:-)
A full length video from a masterclass. Please enjoy:-) This is our first and last free video from the masterclasses. I am planing to keep LIVE masterclasses as I want everyone who is interested to watch them.
However, a compiled full-length video will cost some a reasonable amount of money. (Here is the raw, version from the masterclass for those who can digest it:)
This will help us to keep LIVE masterclasses free, offsetting the cost associated with broadcast and video production.
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III DSLRCamera gear:
- Bogen 055 XPROB Tripod with 405 geared head
- Canon RS-80N3 Remote Switch
- Canon 580 EX, EX II and 430 EX Speedlite strobes
- ST-E2 Speedlite Transmitter
- Canon 100mm F2.8 macro IS L
Lighting, light modifiers and accessories:
- Paul C. Buff Lighting: 2×1600WS
- AlienBees/White Lighting reflectos with various honeycomb grind
- Paul C Buff color gels
- Paul C. Buff Cyber Commander 16 channels remote control with CSR+ receivers
- Adobe Lightroom 3 as a remote capture solution for tethered shooting
- Westcott Illuminator Reflector Kit 6-in-1 – 52″ diffuser panel
Exposure specification: shutter speed 1/250 sec, F7.1, ISO 250
Many thanks to all who helped us to make this class happen. It will be more like this in the near future.
Free Studio Product Photography Course
- Find out what equipment you'll need to start in product photography
- Understand how to use the most effective techniques is studio lighting
- Learn how to photograph and retouch glass subject
Enter your email and I'll send you this course: