Freezing the splash in mid air calls for a fast action flash. Normal studio units have a duration of flash that is generally too slow so we turned to our Nikon SB-910 flash units. Through trial-and-error we discovered that a 1/4 power setting on the flash units was enough speed to freeze the water without any motion blur.
The next problem to overcome is the depth of field, which needed to be quite extensive. The 1/4 power setting on the flash units did not provide enough light for a very stopped down aperture. To compensate we boosted the ISO to 400, which is not a problem on the D810. The result was a working aperture of around f/20.
|A splash this complex is actually a combination of four separate splashes assembled in Photoshop.|
Because we never knew exactly where a splash would end up we needed to include an extra large frame area that would allow a cropping of the images later. That was one reason for using the high 36MP of the Nikon D810. Cropping the image still resulted in a large enough photo afterwards.
The lens was a Nikon 85mm tilt-shift. First of all, this is a macro lens and, consequently, is comfortable working at a very low aperture. In addition, it allowed for tilting the lens to achieve even greater depth of field on the splash.
|We took advantage of the lighting setup and did some pouring shots afterwards.|