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High-Speed Photography: Capturing Motion

Lesson 5 of 15

Set Up: Popping Balloons with Laser Trigger

Clay Patrick McBride

High-Speed Photography: Capturing Motion

Clay Patrick McBride

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Lesson Info

5. Set Up: Popping Balloons with Laser Trigger

Lesson Info

Set Up: Popping Balloons with Laser Trigger

Chris is going to remove the transmitter from the camera, actually I did that. And we're gonna run a hard wire. Can you get that hard wire over there? Yeah, I can get that, one second. A hard wire is just literally a hard wire that's gonna go from the flash unit to the miops trigger and in a black room, we will turn the room black (grunts) Alright. So this is my rig. Mhmm. You want me to just run it to this back light, Clay? Um, yeah, can you see that there? Mhmm. Yep, to the backlight. We're gonna use no front light in this one. Sure. Just back light, Chris. (machine beeps) Hey Dee? Could you come up here and just grab a couple of those Starbucks straws, and there's a small thing of pins there that I need. Alright, so, I'm a little low. So I have this on a like a little ball head over here on my little wizard so it can rotate around. You know? Could you take this? I need the ones with the paper on them. Oh. Yeah. Or just hand me a couple pieces of the paper. Clay...

, can you come up on that just a touch more? Yep. So the first thing I need to do is just kinda determine, it's difficult to see just how far away this laser is from the balloon. It's on this side of the set, but I want to keep it really, really close to the balloon. So I'm kind of measuring over here. Go a little bit higher. Yep, that's great. Alright. And is this camera operating here? This is working right? (clicks) Yeah? Okay, so you could probably see, I'm just kind of putting my finger next to the balloon and looking to wear the laser is on it so it's very, very close. Okay, great. So this is what you're gonna do, Dee. Watch me. You're gonna take a couple of these pens. You can have a seat right there too if you want. (machine beeps) Does this need to come higher or lower? I don't like how that's turned right now. If you don't want it like that yeah, we can move it up a bit. So watch my hand. This comes up? Yeah. Align it so it's on my finger right there, Clay. Okay. Yeah, about that height. That height's perfect. Yeah, I'm just not sure how close it is to the wall. (machine beeps) Right about there looks great. (machine beeps) Let me just tighten. Mhmm. Ah. Go this way. There we go, yeah. Yeah, cool. Okay, so this is what you're gonna do. Little pin. Just watch me here. I know how to do it. Um, yeah? Yeah, I have one at home. Okay, you have a blow dart at home. I do. Okay, like this. So I just want a piece of paper this big. Mhmm. Pin goes right through, right? You fold it back, roll it up, this should work for me, right? So if you could just make me a couple like that with this paper and have 'em on standby. Maybe just slide back a little bit. Right on. Okay. (machine beeps) Alright, now we see how every time we're getting a fire when the trigger's broken, right? You with me? Thanks for your patience. I know this is a little bit tedious. But this is the deal, in this process we're gonna turn off that model light over there, Chris? Mhmm. Shnow. Veet, veet, veet. Turn that model light off. You got it. Make sure it's on freeze mode. Okay. It's on freeze and the model is off. Yep, just in case it gets wet over there. Just a pretty small piece of paper too. If the paper's too big it won't work, okay? Like my fingertip. Yep. And don't roll it too tight. Yep, thanks so much. (machine beeps) Okay. Alright, are we framed on the camera? We're framed and we're in focus. Oh really? Can I see an exposure of the balloon? Sure. Give me just a moment. It's gonna be too bright. I'm gonna hit that right there. Oh, I got it. Yeah, we don't have the wizard on that right now so. Yeah, that's alright. We can put it back on. Just for one. Yeah. So we take the wizard off the process is gonna be this, we're gonna operate in B Mode, camera on B, on bulb, right? And a black room. Yeah, that looks right. Right Chris? Yeah, I'm gonna move that spot a little bit, just pan it down. Yep. Yep. In a black room lights off. Zero light. We're gonna open the shutter, we're gonna shoot the blow dart, the balloon will pop, the trigger will, the laser will be broken and the camera will close and we will have an amazing picture of high-speed photography. Mhmm. So prayer to the photo gods and the blow dart gods. Alright. And the blow dart making amigo. Uh-huh. Amiga. Amiga. Yep. Alright. Thank you. Get the lights off please.

Class Description

The ability to freeze a moment of time can show power, emotion and detail. Learn how to utilize high speed flash duration to create powerful images in a fraction of a second. Through a variety of examples, Clay Patrick McBride will have you experimenting with your photography in a new way. He’ll explain:

  • High Speed Syncing techniques
  • T1 and T2 Flash Duration
  • How to capture the tiniest of details like water droplets or dust
  • Different trigger techniques depending on your unique setup



I enjoyed Clay's workshop, he is very methodical, and had clear simple explanations for the various shoots. I am excited to experiment with different lighting because he made it seem easy. As he mentioned "start small and make it bigger, bigger, bigger. Thanks!

joanne duncan

I agree with Alison, i think this could have been so much better. Too much tampering around on set, i like the small talk and the model talks, love his presence, very charismic, the only thing that kept me watching although i did fast forward some bits. just too slow and not much info.


Watched it live, I thought it had lots of great info. Hoping to buy it soon.