Monday, September 14, 2009

Explosion inside

I shot this picture about a week ago, and didn't bother do write about it since the setup was pretty simple.Still, I've recieved a lot of questions about how I shot it, so here we go.

Idea and setup
Earlier this day I was at work. My colleague asked me to throw a bottle of water to her. I noticed how the water looked, as if it exploded. I thought it would be interesting to freeze that motion. On my way home I bought a cardboard with gold coating which I wanted to use as background for this shot. I was fed up with colorful backdrops, including black or white ones.

I placed the golden cardboard up against the wall and a SB-600 flash on the left side. I put a pillow on the floor in front of the backdrop. I drank up a bottle of vodka and fell asleep. When I woke up the next day, I removed the lables from the bottle and cleaned it with nail polish remover, since it was covered with label glue. I filled the bottle with water almost to the top.

Oops, sorry for including my new Epson 1400 A3+ printer in this setup description...

Exposure was pure luck. Ended up with these settings:

Flash: SB-600, 1/8 power, 24mm zoom
Exposure: 1/250@f/8, ISO 200
Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D

Shooting and post processing
I mounted the camera to the tripod and pointed it at the background. I connected the remote shutter cable and held the bottle in front of the camera, allowing it to auto focus on the bottle by pressing the shutter halfway down. I threw the bottle up in the air while giving it a little spin and pressed the shutter. I did shoot only one picture for each throw. I repeated this action about ten times, but I ended up using the first test shot.

This is the RAW file:

Look how unbelievably straight the bottle is.

In Photoshop I cleaned up the background and increased the contrast in levels. Finished with crop and sharpening.

The result:

Explosion Inside