Ink & Rose

A few days ago, I did a few addition ink drop photos with a twist. For this set of ink drops I placed a rose in the water and drop the ink on top of the rose. I ensured the rose stayed under the water in two ways. The first way I wired it to the side of the fish tank using some clamps, and the second way I wired it to a large round weight that sat at the bottom of the fish tank.

For this shoot I used the following:
  • Step ladder;
  • Canon 80D;
  • Fish tank;
  • Radio transmitter for flashes
  • 1 light stand
  • Camera trigger
  • Boom arm
  • Tripod
  • 2 speed lights
  • 18-200mm lens
  • 2 Soft boxes
  • Water
  • 2 colors of ink
  • White matte board
  • 4 small clamps
  • Wire
  • Rose
  • round weight
  • 1 super clamp

For the setup I placed the fish tank on top of the step ladder to raise it to an appropriate shooting level. Behind the fish tank attached to the shower wall I hung a piece of white matte board to act as the background (my shower is an off-white color). Then I attached a supper clamp onto the shower rod, and attached a boom arm onto perpendicular to the floor. This allowed me to lower the speed light with a soft box on it to the height of the fish tank. I then placed a second light stand and flash with soft box to the left of the camera at a 45-degree angle to the front of the fish tank. The camera was placed on a tripod perpendicular to the front of the fish tank, with the lens zoomed to only have the front face of the tank in the shot. Once everything was in position, I filled the tank with cold water and submerged the rose. To hold the rose in place, I wrapped the stem with wire and extending the wire to edges of the fish tank and attached the wire using small clamps. To take the photos I had a trigger attached to the camera to activate the shutter, while I shot ink from an eyedropper into the water.

I shot all the 334 frames at ISO 100, with an aperture of F11, and a shutter speed of 1/200s. My focal length ranged from 32mm to 120mm with 130 frames shot at 40mm. Of the 334 frames I edited 123 frames, and released 16 final images. 

My favorite image from the shoot was taken after the main blob of ink settled and just wispy swirls of ink remained in the water. To get this image I removed the speed light with the soft box from the light stand and held against the fish tank at a 90-degree angle from the camera. This resulted in strong side light. I then edited the image in light room, by applying white balance using the rose as my source of white. Then adjusting the saturation, luminosity, and hue of the blue and pink ink. I also used the dehaze slider to remove a bit of haze coming from the ink. I then increased the clarity slightly while adjusting highlights and shadows. Finally, I added some vignetting to the image.

Overall, I like how the images turned out. However, I think I need to have the soft boxes directly against the fish tank for optimal lighting throughout the process. This will also eliminate reflections from the lights on the fish tank.


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