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High-Speed Photography: Capturing Motion

Lesson 14 of 15

Shoot: Splash Test Shots

Clay Patrick McBride

High-Speed Photography: Capturing Motion

Clay Patrick McBride

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Lesson Info

14. Shoot: Splash Test Shots

Lesson Info

Shoot: Splash Test Shots

So he's gonna spray and pray, I'm gonna paint him with water. Why don't you start Chris. (camera clicking rapidly and water splashing) Alright, beautiful. Oh, yes! Nice. So you see how the paint's coming right? We don't need to like, really splank 'em in there, right? And I'm right at the edge of the frame, I'm mindful of my body, see you could just come into the side of the shot, right? Who wants to do what I was doing on this side of the shot? You wanna hit it, right on. But we need you three guys to be hitting it together. So you get a bucket, right. Yeah. We're gonna paint the hell out of him. Alright, questions online, anything right now? Folks were noticing that you really like, what we're gonna call almost a 360 degree lighting. That light coming from all sides. Do you find that's the best way to capture the water and the model at the same time? Yeah well, what I'm looking for in the water, and let me just get to this picture and zoom out a little bit, right? It's a ...

couple things, like what's, from what we've learned today guys, and just you can shout it out, what's making this water look so good? Flash duration. Flash duration, what else? [Second Female Student] Highlights, dark light. Highlights, dark light, and also how does water behave, glass behave differently than other things? It looks better illuminated. Luminesces right, when light shines through it it refracts and it apparates differently, right. So if you just zoom in there by his head Chris, let's just see what's going on in there, right? We really, you know that's happening because of my backlight, right? And one thing I'm trying to do is ah, I'm lighting him at this angle, because if I brought the lights around front maybe we could go to one of the earlier pictures, where the background was over lit, right? Yeah, this is where we started, right? The water would, you wouldn't see it as well because the background's getting a lot of reflection from the light sources, when the light sources were in front of the set, you guys with me? It comes down to this, the family of angles, the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflectiveness, right, what does that mean? That means, the light source is actually reflecting in the metal reflective source, right? Sometimes we want it to be that way, when we want to make metal things look real metal, we reflect light on them, the way we do in the left, right? That goes for your rappers grill, right? You got a rapper with some grill, urrrrh, right? You want to make that grill look good, you gotta get some light in that, corner that, work with that, right? So um, and if you don't put light on it looks kind of dead, like on the right, metal looks kind of dead, but that's what we want, right? Give me a better splash in there. Sure. Yep. You're doing a great job looking proud, and not like, freezing and weird, big ups, right on, you know? And you gotta like, you gotta give your model kudos, you gotta have a little rapport, right, you know what I mean? So um, I wonder how it's gonna look with all three of you going, how do you guys thinking we need to coordinate, I'm open for suggestions here. Well, you want me from this backing, or just from the side? Yeah, I think you could even get an apple box and come a little bit up and down, right? What, what are you saying? No I'm just saying, you know the higher you go-- Yeah yeah. the better the arc we get of water, you know? Mmmhmm. Okay. Chris could you just... What do you need Clay? Yeah don't be afraid to come right in, okay? If you look at my frame right now, I'm really tight in here, right? So you can walk right in, right, so you're not, walk that other foot right in, step your other foot right in. Yep, yep. And just kinda reach over and you're just gonna kinda lift it and drop it and paint him right? Okay. And uh, so I think you should all start kinda high up, and drop, as opposed to down and up, right? Do you want us to come down with a synchronized one, or, stagger it, or? I don't know, what do you guys think? It's up to you, we're talking staggered, we're talking synchronized. I'm gonna stagger a little. I'm gonna spray and pray, so I'm gonna rip through it. Let's try staggered, what's the staggered gonna be? Who's going first? [Second Female Student] You want to go one, two, three? One, two, three. One, three, two, I'm taking one, two, okay? One, two, three, we're crowding it in, we're working it out, we're coordinating, we're team working, it's gonna be trial and error no matter what, okay? Who's going first, who's going second, who's going third? [Second Female Student] First, second, third. Okay. Alright. Ready. (camera clicking rapidly and water splashing) Yep, too far apart, yeah. Oh, you're doing a excellent job modeling now, I gotta say. Think that key light could come in. Yeah I think all at the same time's good, and your all being a little bit precious about it, can I just show you one? By all means. Watch me, (speaks in French) It's like French lessons. Right, I just like, just kinda come up and down. It's like you want to come up with the water, and then pull the bucket out so it goes, just comes in a sheet, right? You want these lights changed a bit? I want this one to come into his face a little bit more, yep. That's pretty good, yep. Alright, maybe this time, give me like, a little bit more of an O face, like, waaoow! Alright, alright, I'll do that without peaking, like a little bit like, waoooow, right? And if it's, if the ball comes in here and you kinda smack it back and forth, hey, let me see that. So as they're coming to hit, you could just kinda, (smacking ball) right? Got it. Alright.

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.