High Speed Photography Tips

24 Jun
If you have ever tried to capture an object at high speed you will know that it’s not that easy. You take a lot of images and if your lucky you have a few winning shots. 

If you take the time to setup the shot correctly you will have a much higher success rate. You can use photographic gear to assist with capturing the shot or if you are on a budget setup the shot so that you have consistency.

For the budget conscious lets look at some tips to help with high speed photography:

∙ You can use either a very fast shutter speed to freeze the action or if you have an external flash you can use it to freeze the action perfectly. Off camera flash is recommended.

∙ Consistency is key! If you are taking an image of falling water drops. You need to create a setup to make the water fall on the exact same spot. This way your focus will be perfect. To do this you can use a small plastic bag filled with water and make a small hole in the bag with a needle. You will now have a constant flow of falling water drops. You can hang this above a container with water. The falling drops of water will make a splash in the container at the same spot.

∙ Now that we have the water falling on the same spot we need to setup the camera. You can use a normal pen or your finger and hold it where the water is falling in the container. Focus on the pen using Auto Focus. When you have focus turn the camera to manual focus, that way the camera will stay focussed on that spot.

∙ You have to time when the water drops hit the water and start shooting. You will find having consistency where the water drop will fall and the camera already focussed on that spot greatly improves your chances of getting that perfect shot.

If you have the budget you can save yourself countless hours of shooting and invest in some extra gear to time the shot for you.

Here is the Cactus LV5 laser triggers.

With these triggers you use the laser beam to trigger the camera. I achieved the following results easily in a few minutes.
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To see how I achieved this there are the following two videos for your viewing pleasure. 

The first video is a bit technical but these units are really feature rich.


Here we look at the setup I used to create the images:


I hope this inspires you to create some creative shots. If you don’t have all the gear just remember consistency is key!

May the Light be with you,

Marius van der Westhuizen.

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