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High-Speed Photography: Capturing Motion

Lesson 12 of 15

Splash Shoot Overview

Clay Patrick McBride

High-Speed Photography: Capturing Motion

Clay Patrick McBride

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Lesson Info

12. Splash Shoot Overview

Lesson Info

Splash Shoot Overview

Splash zone objectives, here we are. Thank you guys for all being with me this whole time and thank all you people out there for watching. This is gonna be great. Whenever I teach this class at school, kids get mad excited and we have a lot of fun, it's outrageous and I think it shows us just what high-speed photography can do. When we see this water splashing, and how it gets frozen, it's just super radical, it's like mercury. We're gonna talk first about safety, 'cuz like this is no joke, you notice everything's wrapped, wrapped, wrapped, up tight. We got electricity, we got water, you know those things don't mix well. So we really wanna be super practical in everything we do. We're gonna discuss practice trial and error, I think we've been seeing your friend Cleezy McBreezy trying, failing, and then nailing it, right? So that's a big part of my practice, it's how we learn. We fall on our faces, we fall forward, I hope. (laughs) We're gonna demonstrate the magic and beauty of freezin...

g time. Our model, Samajay, on set, thanks to him for being here. Might have to break down and call you Jay, if I forget that, but I so appreciate you being here and getting wet with us. Gimme a pound, my man. Team building, team building, it's all about that, yeah! Let's take a look: similar situation, and again, before I came here and was gonna do this shot, I was practicing in Rochester just so I knew what to expect and to think it through. I think a good part of practicing photography, no matter what job you're doing, is to think it through, to put yourself there, OK I got my camera, what do I need? Alright I need that orange wire, I need that radio thing, I need that guy. Oh, can't do it without that guy! Chris Coe, yeah! (laughs) We're gonna need that thing, gonna need a lot of these things, gonna need some of that. Just like pre-visualization, like you watch the tape. Watch the tape, watch the tape. See yourself there, I like to see myself succeeding, not falling on my face. I try to paint the positive picture, and not one of doom. I try to believe in the power of that, visualization. The same thing I'm gonna do after the shoot, I'm gonna go home after this, and I don't know if I'm gonna watch Creative Live, but I might just think about, OK what could have gone differently there? I think that's one of the most valuable things we do, at RIT, Rochester Institute of Technology, is we write these reports after an assignment. And in the report, we always just write, like what went bad. If you just kept a notebook of your epic fails, you know what I mean? I think it's good evidence. You think about an athlete watches the tape after the game and thinks, "Ah, I shoulda went for the outside shot, and not gone to the hole." Think about what could have gone differently next time. Think of what you coulda done differently. Here I am just practicing running through it. Couple of my guys up there. It looks a lot like this set, everything's wrapped up. One smart thing I did is did it outside. Why outside? Cuz I don't have worry about cleaning it up, the same way, I don't need Shop-Vacs and whatnot. So I did it outside. Safety first. Talked about this, careful when mixing flash. Be mindful, be conscientious. Wrap all lights and cords with clear plastic bags. Elevate cords so they're not in puddles of water. That's what we just did right here. See where they're connecting. Just elevating them 'cuz the water's gonna be all down here. I just wanna be super mindful here. There's another couple of them over there, we'll have to get to that. We'll have to deal with them. This is one of my students, one of my lessons that I do there, that's fun. And here we are, this is exactly what we're gonna do. Couple guys, couple buckets. We got apple boxes around? Good, OK. So we're gonna throw them on. For some reason I chose to wore a king crown that day. Helps me feel like the man sometimes. Wanna shout out to my man Mickey Owens for taking these pictures. There we are working in the breezeway at RIT. Frankie and Harrison. Check that out, he actually nailed that picture the moment that the flash was going off. So that's pretty cool. That's what we're looking at, that's exactly what we're looking at. And there I am, I'm obviously not happy with how everybody's throwing the water, so I'm throwing the water. These guys made the mistake of really cold water, you know what I mean, and they were killing the model, so he just looks so uncomfortable in every one of the pictures. This is warm water for you, today, Jay, so we thought that through. Aren't you glad I did my homework before I got here? It just looks like he's freaked out and having a hard time. But, so that's a little bit of the energy I want from you a little bit (mumbles). If you could keep your eyes open for some of them, that would be great. What am I gonna say about this? It's interesting, I'm happy that we have a very similar setting, I like this set a little bit more. This is what we're gonna be gettin'. This is interesting, this is a ballon popping above Carter's head. Watch this: boom, isn't that crazy? It's like a moment later. Boom, so popping over his head. Boom, still popping over his head, crazy. And there he is, ecstatic. Ecstatic with water, bliss. Maybe we want some bliss from you today. Many times when I'm working with a guy like this, this is a little bit like a mood board, sometimes I'll put together some motions or ideas I'm having. I'll put together a mood board. And it might be my work, might be other peoples' work. Might be just pictures from movies I like. I'll be like, "This is the vibe I'm kinda looking for in these pictures." And it helps. Many times you get them from photo editors and art directors in the business. You'll get just a general walk-through of what the pictures are gonna be about.

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.