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Freezing Liquid in Motion Using High Speed Flash

Randy Wong Commercial Photography high speed flash

Freezing Liquid in Motion Using High Speed Flash

The objective of this project was to create a commercial image that combined liquid in motion with a static bottle and capture the action using high speed flash.  As pictured in the set up shot, the champagne bottle was attached via a clamp to a boom stand.  The cork was also fixed in place and attached to the bottle by a short length of heavy gauge wire.

The main light was provided by two Alien Bee Einstein studio strobes, which are known for their extremely short flash durations needed to freeze the liquid in motion.  The main lights were fitted with strip boxes.   A third Einstein with a grid spot was poised behind and above to the right to light the cork and the liquid. A Sunpak 266D speedlight was clamped to the boom stand fitted with an opaque plastic blank in the filter slot.  A small slit was cut into the filter slot blank to illuminate only the contents of the bottle from the behind. The 1/200 sec @ f/22, 100 ISO camera exposure settings gave me the depth of field to insure the sharpness of the product as well as keeping my background black.

Randy Wong Commercial Photography

Set Up Shot

















In order to capture the liquid stream with some predictability and repeatability, I employed a diamond tipped drill bit to cut a hole in the bottom of the bottle and secured a garden hose fitting using marine epoxy.  After attaching the bottle to a garden hose, it was simply a matter of a quick flick of the faucet handle to bring the set up to life and start shooting.

Randy Wong Commercial Photography

Garden hose fitting attached to bottom of bottle

The final image was processed in Lightroom and Photoshop for locally applied exposure, contrast and clarity.  Surprisingly, very little transformation was performed on the splashing liquid besides tinting the stream to resemble champagne.

Canon 5D mkIII, 24-105mm f/4L IS lens.  1/200 sec @ f/16,  ISO 100. The strobes were fired via Radio Popper JrX radio triggers and the camera was fired remotely using Pocket Wizard Plus III’s.

See my other commercial photography images at www.rwpcommercial.net

Randy Wong Photography

Pleasanton, CA  (925) 462-5919



2 Responses to “Freezing Liquid in Motion Using High Speed Flash”

  1. Dominick says:

    Great information. Lucky me I ran across your site by accident (stumbleupon).
    I have saved as a favorite for later!

  2. Louise says:

    Thanks for being on point and on taertg!

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