Ep 319: Splash photography, and Photoshop 2021 update review

In addition to a quick review of the new features in Photoshop, you’ll discover how to make a splash in this episode with splash photography. That means capturing splashes, water droplets while they’re in motion and tips on whether you should use techniques involving flash or shutter speed or both.

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Show Notes

Photoshop 2021 review

image of a shirtless south east asian man on the front of a boat with the ocean in the background. The Sky is changing between a boring grey sky and a colourful sky with pink clouds.
Here’s an example the sky replacement we spoke about in this episode

Gold members click here for my in-depth sky replacement tutorial

Two side by side images of a white man with grey hair and a blue, open collared shirt. In the image on the left, his skin hasn't been smoothed out, on the right hand side, the skin is smoother and brighter.
Skin smoothing using PS 2021 AI
Two side by side images of a white man with grey hair and a blue open shirt collar. On the left, he has a neutral expression. On the right, there is a photoshopped smile.
Two side by side images of a white man with grey hair and a blue open collared shirt. On the left, his face is neutral. On the right, a photoshop angry filter has been applied, making his mouth curl in a snarl, and his eyebrows are a little more furrowed.
Angry filter
Two side by side images of the same white man with grey hair and an open collared blue shirt. On the left, his face is neutral. On the right, the photoshop age filter has been applied. His hair is greyer and his jowls are more pronounced. His skin has been smoothed and brightened by the filter.
Age filter.
Two side by side pictures of the same white man with grey hair, an open collared blue shirt. On the left, he has a neutral expression. On the right, a young filter has been applied. His hair is a bit darker and his skin and wrinkles smoothed out. His face has also been slimmed slightly.
Young filter

SPLASH PHOTOGRAPHY

Splash photography or freezing splashes of liquid is a great way to add life to product or portrait photography. This look can be achieved with minimal entry-level gear using daylight or flash.

Two images of glasses with lime wedges in them against a black background. In the left picture, the image is still. On the right, lime wedges have been dropped into the glass and a creating a splash.
Splash photography adds “life” to static product shots

Basic Splash Photography using daylight

A glass of water with strawberries dropping into it creating a splash. This is taken in a garden with a wooden wall in the background and green vines. There is clear daylight filling the image.
Splash photography using daylight
Three images are together in one image. On the left there are two images stacked on top of each other and one image on the right. The two images on the left show strawberries being dropped into a glass of water in a garden. The image on the right shows how the two images on the left have been used to create one composite image.
Above image is a composite of 2 images.

Basic Gear

  • DSLR or Mirrorless
  • Glass, large vase or fish tank
  • Tripod
  • Sunshine (backlit)

Optional Extras

  • Remote trigger

Settings

  • SS 1/1000
  • Set the shutter to burst mode

Freeze water droplets using daylight (sunlight) and fast shutter speed ( min 1/1000th sec)
Define water by backlighting or side lighting
Use a simple block colour for the backdrop to help make the water the hero of the shot

Splash Photography using Speedlights

Flash freezes action not shutter speed

Basic Gear

  • DSLR or Mirrorless
  • Glass, large vase or fish tank
  • 2 speedlights with grids or stripboxes
  • Tripod
  • Light stands
  • Flash triggers

Optional Extras

  • Remote trigger 
  • Laser trigger (Miops or Cactus)
A glass of water against a black background with lemon slices being dropped into it, creating a splash. You can see droplets of water.
I used a Miops trigger to capture the water droplets in this image
A series of shots of a glass of water against a black background with lemon wedges being dropped into it to form a composite action filled shot on the far right.
A glass of water against a black background with lemon wedges being dropped into it. You can see the splash and the bubbled in the glass as well as water droplets.
Two halves of a lime are breaking the surface of the water against a black background. You can see a wedge of lime in the background.
An image showing how this shot is taken using a laser trigger, black round background, glass on the table and a diffused light source.
Lighting set up using miops laser trigger

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