Day 71 – 01/15/11 – Splash of Color

I’m currently reading Speedliter’s Handbook: Learning to Craft Light with Canon Speedlite’s, by Syl Arena.  I’m only about half way through the book, but so far I highly recommend it.  One of the things the author repeats throughout the book is to not be afraid to go out and make mistakes.  Basically, he espouses learning by experimenting, which has always been my philosophy as well.  And this afternoon, I finally had some time to set aside for experimentation.

I set out to shoot with some wine glasses, some colored water, a flash and a solid two hours of play time.  I had a vague idea of what I was after, but the main goal was just to experiment with different lighting setups.  I used virtually no continuous lights, all of the setups I played with were flash plus reflectors, diffusers and a light tent.  I had an absolute blast, made a heck of a lot of mistakes, and – in my opinion – came away with a decent image or two.

My favorite shot, fittingly enough, was the last image I made.

Colorful water glasses.

Colorful water glasses.

I also like this shot, which is more or less what I set out for:

Colorful reflections from colored water.

Colorful reflections from colored water.

There’s additional images from the shoot up on the Flickr stream.

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18 Responses to Day 71 – 01/15/11 – Splash of Color

  1. bonniegunkel says:

    Both are very cool, but I like the second shot the best. 🙂

  2. I prefer the first one of these two shots. Love the close crop and colors.

  3. I agree with Sasi regarding the first shot but, I have to say, I LOVE the coloured shadow in the second shot! What a cool idea Jim, I am SO going to have to borrow this idea. Thanks for posting the name of the book, I will have to look into it! What kinda of Speedlite are you using?

    • Jim Reed says:

      Thanks! I wish I could take credit for the idea on the colored shadows. Some time ago I came across an image on the web of three glasses (or bottles?) with colored water in them and the shadows on the white board behind them. There was actually a tutorial on how he did it if I remember correctly. I searched in vain to find it yesterday, both to give him credit for the idea, and to re-read the tutorial. While I like the way mine came out, it’s not as crisp and clean as what I remember seeing and I’d love to know what method he used to get the shot lit.

      I’m using a 430 EX II that I got for Christmas, with an inexpensive wireless trigger. I’m having a lot of fun experimenting with it, and Syl’s book has been a tremendous help.

      • I love my 430 EX II but have yet to use it in auto! Hahaha, yup, i’ve had it set to manual mode all this time. Crazy? Perhaps but, I love learning through trial and error so it’s a blast checking out how the different levels of power effect a shot! I need to get some triggers, the Canon 7d has an onboard firing remote which is what I am using currently. When I get more Speedlights, I will want to also invest a triggering system. 😀

        • Jim Reed says:

          Yep, manual is what I’m using as well. I tried auto the first few shots and didn’t care for it (likely because I didn’t understand how it was arriving at the exposure). If you use manual for the most part anyway, you can pick up a set of wireless triggers for only $25. It is not capable of E-TTL at all though, so your stuck with manual. I figured that was a cheap way into wireless, and eventually I’ll pick up a 580 EX II to function as my wireless master.

  4. You are doing a great job! I LOVE these pictures. So fun. I also love what the author is saying. The only way to fail is to not try. Perfect : )

  5. Jill says:

    You did a great job!!!! Thanks for sharing how you did it too 🙂

    Blessings,
    Jill
    http://fnaphotography.blogspot.com

  6. SarahinSC says:

    Wow! You’re getting some awesome results from learning by experimenting.

  7. mindymilburn says:

    Well I like them both, the composition and the framing of the first is more appealing the but color and the back light of the second is fabulous.

  8. Deb says:

    Great shots! My favorite is the second one. I haven’t bought a speedlite yet, but I look forward to getting one and learning how to use it down the road.

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