Exercise 3.1

Brief: Using fast shutter speeds isolate a frozen moment in time.

When I thought about this exercise I came up with several options such as capturing an animals’ movement e.g. a dog in mid leap or a bird in flight.

Leaping Dog

I then thought further and decided to have my own go at emulating the ‘milk drop’ photographs. I found this technically quite challenging. I set the camera to 1/8000 sec, and focused on the surface of water in a bowl. Initially I left the camera to set the aperture, which came out with the largest possible, but I found this cut down the depth of field too much so was not getting the images I was visualising, so changed to a fully manual mode with an aperture of f/9. I used my flash and a tripod to hold the image position stable. My assistant (my son) then slowly dipped water into a bowl while I tried to capture it landing. We had many failed attempts:

  • I mistimed the shot so just caught a ripple or just water
  • Using a white bowl was not very successful, as there was too much reflection from the flash and many of the images were burnt out completely
  • My flash takes longer than I realised to recharge, and needed to be watched to avoid a completely underexposed (black) frame.
  • There was reflection from a nearby window, so we had to move to a different room where I could cover the window

Eventually I got some images I was happy with. I have added contact sheets of a number of the images, marked with the ‘picks’, ‘top choices’ and the final preferred image.

The final image that I chose was:

Frozen Moment

I felt the colours and pattern were interesting. I am aware that the higher drop is not totally sharp but felt it leads the eye to the drop that is just about to land. This was a fascinating exercise to carry out.

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