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


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