Sunday, August 25, 2013

Rubber Ducky Re-Do

Rubber Duck in Balloon
Never start a conversation with your husband with the sentence, “Tomorrow can you please lube up some rubber ducks for me and put them in balloons?” He will give you a very strange look then ask why. To which my response was, “so I can fill the balloons with water then drop them in the bathtub and take pictures of the resulting splash.”  

Initial Burst (no rubber duck)
I took my lesson learned from the last I did the rubber duck drop photos and improved upon it. This time placed a splash screen in the bathroom to collect and drain the water back into the bathtub.  The splash screen was a clear shower curtain hung slightly below the camera and a couple inches out from the bathtub with the bottom of the shower curtain in the bathtub.  This work very well. There was no big mess in the bathroom and I did not have to wear a bathing suit since it contained all the water. 

For this shoot the camera was mounted on a tripod looking down onto the drop zone. The camera was set at ISO 200, f11 and a shutter speed between 1/650s – 1/1000s and had a flash mounted on it.  I also used a shutter release.  I was going to use a flash mounted under the drop zone to light the water from bellow. 

However, I cannot seem to get the trigger trap app to trigger the flash; I might need the new version for it to work properly.  Thus I have a potential future project. 

I got some decent results from this set up. Of course it needs to be refined further but for the equipment and space I have I feel I’m getting some interesting and decent photos. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Water Balloons, Rubber Ducks and Lubricant

The set up
What does one do with water balloons, rubber ducks and lubricant? In my case you attempt to make photographic art.  I set up Plexiglas table in my bathtub (the bathroom works great when you don’t have a studio) and dropped water balloons onto it.  The rig consisted of two tripod stands, wood platforms, a piece of Plexiglas attached between the two, tin foil to act as a reflector and white back drop taped to the wall.  To guarantee the balloons would break a thumb tack was taped to the Plexiglas. The camera was pre-focused and set to use burst mode. I used an f/7.5 aperture, 1/650s shutter, and an ISO of 800 with an external flash. I tried using a timer but that didn't work well, the best  results I got were utilizing a shutter release. I hit and held the shutter when I released the balloon and released once the balloon hit.  I got some “ok” shots but I need to refine the setup further.  I used water balloons with and without colored water and also added rubber ducks to the inside of the balloons to make the composition interesting. Note to get the rubber ducks into the balloons you need to make sure they are well lubricated.

Lessons learned:
1.  This makes a very large mess in the bathroom.
Waiting water balloons
2. Find rubber ducks that float right side up.
3. Wear a bathing suit.
4. Use eyedroppers to get food coloring into the balloons.
5. Use a faster shutter speed.
6. Possibly make a splash shield to contain the water.

The result


Friday, August 2, 2013

New and Improved!

On Tuesday, July 30, 2013 SmugMug change the underlying code that supports the site. This change included an updated interface, look and feel to all the webpages they support. The change updated the site pages to make them look sleeker and modern similar to what Flicker and 500px did, but way better. (I really blame Apple for this sleek and modern look everyone is going too.) Thankfully they just didn’t do a mass change overnight to everyone’s photo site but gave people time to get used to the changes and update their sites accordingly. 


Since Wednesday I have been working with the new interface and bring my site up to date to make it look sleek and modern. It has the same basic feel as the old site it just looks new and shiny.  Today was big unveil day for my site.  It still may need some minor tweaks but it looks good and does what I want for the most part.  So please take a look at the new site (same web address http://munchkinphotos.smugmug.com/) and let me know what you think and provide me any comments.  Enjoy the new site. 

Waterfalls and Parachutes

Bonus image: Focal length 18mm, Apeture F7.1, Shutter 1/200s I went up to Ohio a few weekends ago for my class reunion, and figur...