Here’s How to Create Those Really Cool Water Splash Photos

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All images by Mark Richardson. Used with permission.

Photographer Mark Richardson has an awesome tutorial video showing off how you can get those awesome water splash photos with a simple lighting setup. Mark uses an expensive lens, but you don’t need it to get these types of photos.

He has a two light setup with large soft boxes and he goes about capturing the splashes by activating the camera and flash by hand. It’s also possible to do this with the Triggertrap flash adapter and sound shutter release, but this method is what many photographers have been doing for years and it involves Photoshop.

What’s key here is that the monolights that Mark is using have a fast flash duration. What that does is stops the fastest of motions in a scene to allow you to get the crispest and sharpest image that you possibly can. In fact, if Mark were to shoot a two second long exposure and synced his water toss with the flash, he would have gotten the same results because the flash is stopping the super fast motion. Indeed, fast flash durations are super cool to work with–and they’re not be confused with high speed sync.

To be honest, this is actually some of the funnest stuff that you can do with lighting and without a model in the frame. Give it a try this weekend and be sure to check out the video after the jump.

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