Commercial Product Photographer Chris Eltrich has been playing with splashes to add some fun to his photography portfolio. His recent shoot included goggles and an aquarium. It was a day full of fun that ended with Chris dropping everything from lemons to bananas in the water to see which created the best splash. When it comes to focusing on the perfect splash, Chris offers some insight on how to get the job done:
The biggest challenge to the splash shot is the timing. Just capturing the splash is fairly challenging, but you want the product to look good too. You could, alternatively, take a bunch of shots and composite pieces together, but I wanted to get the splash and product in the same shot, so I needed a consistent method. Now at this point, a gear savvy photographer would begin assembling an elaborate system to trigger the camera when the product falls past a certain point, that you can tune to a fraction of a second. But as the jobs of my generation are slowly being appropriated by “the machines”, I decided to go all “John Henry” and show these machines we humans are still relevant.
I had my assistant drop the goggles about two feet above the water and I hit the shutter right before they landed. The first drop turned great, so I gave myself a congratulatory pat on the back (actually, I instructed my assistant to give me a congratulatory pat on the back.) Oh the joys of being a professional photographer. And so we began our day-long adventure in dropping things in an aquarium.
After a morning of getting great shots of goggles and receiving upwards of forty congratulatory pats on the back (so many that I ended up congratulating him with seven pats of his own), my timing abilities began to decline, and I started getting a lot of pictures of an empty tank or a pair of goggles floating.
Now some would fault me with not hitting the shutter at the right time, but I believe it was the machines, jealous of my amazing “early morning” timing, using some sort of time travel device or computer virus to stop me from getting amazing product photography consistently all day. Luckily, since I had already taken some shots that I loved in the morning we still felt like we had defeated the growing menace that is automation.