Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Strawberry Drop Set-Up

Foundation of my set-up for this shot was my home made light tent frame. I build it from CPVC 1/2” water tubing and several elbows and “T” fittings and use it for almost all of my indoor close-up shots.
For this particular shot two things are very critical: focus and target. In order to have the main subject as sharp as possible I had to construct sort of scaffolding where I could clamp target that was about the same size as strawberry and as close to location in water as possible.

To do that I have tied steel nut to a string and then lowered it into wine glass. When focusing was done I have raised the nut to a location about 5” above the surface of water. This gave me precise spot from where I would drop the strawberry. It must be dropped from exact same spot every time. I dropped the strawberry from directly underneath the nut, it actually came in the contact with the nut.

In order for strawberry to stand out you will need strong but filtered backlight. I used Vivitar 285 flash triggered by radio and I was strobing through prismatic Plexiglas and diffuser screen. I didn’t try it but I think that you can use white bed sheet and strong spot light or table lamp for the back light. It is worth to experiment with.

The black strips on side of wine glass were created with 2 pieces of black cardboard placed at angle behind and to the side of the glass. You just have to move it around for your desired effect.
The main flash was placed to one side of camera and about half way between lens and glass. Since it was so close I filtered the flash with a sheet of toilet tissue. Again. The flash was triggered with radio.
Now that everything is set-up all you have to do is keep dropping! One more thing: don’t forget to clean the wine glass after every drop. Unwanted droplet of water on front or sides of the glass will ruin your perfectly timed shot. I am speaking from experience, been there, done that.
It can be very tedious but rewarding shoot. I ended up with 1 good shot for every 20 drops. Thanks heaven for digital photography!

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