Tuesday 10 June 2008

High speed flash photography

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The illumination from a flash unit lasts about 1/10,000th of a second and can be used to freeze motion. For the shot above I had a plastic pot with a small hole in (pierced with a pin) slowly dripping water into a shallow glass bowl, with some reflective wrapping paper behind. I put the camera, fitted with a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 macro lens and wireless ST-E2 flash controller, on a tripod and then set the focus manually by placing a small piece of cereal box with text on (as a focusing aid) where the drop was landing. I placed a 580EX II Speedlite on either side of the bowl (though it's possible with only one - having two gives you more control over lighting and a faster recycling time), set the camera to manual mode and, after a bit of experimentation, dialled in 1/200th sec (the X-sync on an EOS 5D), f/5.0 at ISO 400. I then dimmed down the lights in the room and used a remote switch to trigger the camera. It only took a few attempts to get my timing in and start capturing interesting shots. I urge you all to have a go - it's easier than it looks!

Check out more of my photography here: Kent photographer

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