how to photograph paint splash

Paint Splash

On my Blog today “paint Splash” As some of you may know recently I showed a tutorial of images showing Water in motion, & sticking with the motion theme, I thought I would try my hand at Paint splashes, messy but fun. This is what you need to achieve a good paint splash.

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Paint 🙂 water colour is best as it easily cleans off pipette little eye dropper type gizmo that sucks up your paint. Two white sample tiles to be used as a mini studio, I used 400×300 gloss white ones to ensure that I have a nice pure white finish which can give a nice reflection also. A speedlight / Flashgun (very important) as we want to capture and freeze the action our speedlight will help us achieve that. One light stand with a boom arm if you don’t have a boom arm you can use a broom handle but make sure it is securely attached to the light stand as it will be holding your flashgun. A flashgun cold shoe or Magic arm to hold the flashgun Water just enough to mix the watercolour paint Camera with telephoto: lens (reason being that you don’t want paint splashes on your equipment (best lens to try is the 70-200) A remote shutter release (as your camera will be a little way from the setup you will need one hand to use the pipette.

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Settings: IN camera I used the following setting ISO 200, F/16, Manual mode, shutter speed 1/200sec I set the Camera (Canon 7D) to sync with the flash remotely as the Canon 7D has a in built sync some other camera’s will have his also you may need to check your manual or you will need a flash sync: devise. Setup: You will need distance your camera from the setup I have used a small table which placed the tiles onto one flat & one at an angle at the back, Now set up your light stand along with boom arm, flashgun,& pipette roughly in the same area you can tape the pipette to the boom arm with some duct tape the flash can be mounted using either a magic arm or super clamp wit cold shoe to attach it to, the flash I pointed directly down at the flat tile, for which I will explain in a second. It’s time to mix your paint that you wish to use remember to mix it quite thick but watery enough to add to the pipette, Once that is done I would do a test drop onto the flat sample tile, this is where you want your flashgun pointing. Your flash gun should be set to 1/16 it’s power in order to help freeze the action, you can use manual mode however I got away with Using, the ETTL mode which doesn’t always work, remember to sync your flashgun to the camera as the flash should be in slave mode. The first paint drop which should still be on the sample tile is now your marker for focusing your lens, using a pen or something Similar, rest it where the paint drop landed as a focus point, once focused switch to manual Focus on your lens

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Tips: Mix the watercolour paint in a quite strong mix not to watery. Make sure you have a clean cloth to hand to wipe access paint away (a micro fiber cloth works very well) Make sure after several shots you wipe the access paint away from the tiles as it can dry quick making cleaning more of an effort Now your ready to start shooting, This can be the tricky part as you should have a remote release in one hand & ready to squeeze the pipette in the other, coordinating both hands at the same time can be a challenge by itself, but a small trick is to have the remote release half de-pressed ready as you Squeeze the pipette watch the drop as it is just about to hit the tile then quickly press the remote release fully. Now I thought I would try the burst mode, trying to be smart and capture more images quicker, but it does not always work that way once you have mastered the single shot watching those drops of paint it becomes easier, never give up until you have the nice shot that your looking for, it does take practice & patients, but you will prevail. I hope you found this blog of interest, Please feel free to visit me at many thanks to Christian Tudor at Academy of Photography.

Thanks, for reading

Simon Everett



About Simon Everett

Simon Everett Photographer. I was Born in the midlands the Heart of England amongst the peace & tranquil surroundings of open fields and the sounds of the natural countryside, I moved to the southeast some years later and started and though still in the countryside of Kent I cannot be to far from nature, & the changing seasons Simon Everett Photography Kent – I offer professional Wedding, Events, Parties, & Commercial photography in Kent, as well as portrait and newborn photography across The whole of Kent area including Some London Boroughs. Wedding photography is my passion and my style is contemporary, modern, reportage, Dramatic, classic vintage and natural as well. We provide a mixture of styles to suit various tastes and we can adapt to your requirements