On July 31st, I did a water session with the lovely model Karishma and the MUA Nicole. This water session was specifically a glitter bath session.

For these sessions I used:

  • Canon 80D
  • 1 Speedlight
  • Light stand
  • 2 C-stands
  • 2 Strobes
  • 2 Square Soft boxes
  • Trigger
  • Circular polarizer
  • 18-200mm lens
  • Ladder
  • Black backdrop
  • Pool
  • Tarp
  • Exercise mats
  • Glitter
  • Tulle
  • Water

This session was done out on my enclosed back deck. The deck is good location because the pool can be drained directly into the yard, and is significantly cooler than the garage.  For this set up we placed exercise mats down on the deck, then placed the pool on top of that, to protect the pool.  We also hung a tarp on the deck enclosure to prevent sunlight from interfering with the shoot and causing weird reflections in the water.  A black backdrop was placed on the pool as a base background, I then added a black glitter bath bomb to add shimmer to the water.  I then added more glitter on top of that to ensure sparkle.  The two strobes were positioned at the far edge of the pool pointed down towards the pool; which acted as main lights.  I then used a speedlight on a light stand to use as a fill light for the model.

The last time I did a water session, I had to fight the reflections of the strobes in the water. I eliminated this issue by using a circular polarizer, however this added another issue I did not think about.  Glitter sparkles because when light hits it, it scatters is every direction, however a polarizer only lets light coming in at a specific angle hit the sensor.  So, in getting rid of the reflections, I got rid of the sparkle. Also, since I was using a polarizer, I had to up my flash power to compensate.   So, in eliminating one issue I caused another. I think if I do this shoot again, I’ll remove the polarizer and just work harder on finding angles that don’t have reflections of the strobes.

For this shoot I shot using an ISO of 200 and an aperture of F7.1 with a shutter speed of 1/250s.  Using the exact same setting for the entirety of the shoot did make doing the editing easier and quicker. My focal length ranged from 18mm to 70mm with 50mm being the most common focal length.

My favorite image from the session is below.  It is a very simple soft feminine image, but to get this image required post processing.  The base image was well light but the details such as the sparkle and tulle in the water were dark and not coming through in the image.  So, after doing the overall base adjustments, I took an adjustment brush to selectively brighten those areas so the tulle and sparkle would show through the black. I then went in and brightened the face slightly. I did use a frequency separation technique to even and smooth out the skin and make up to make it more polished. This technique removes all the minor little blemishes that one doesn’t see in normal light but tend to stand out when hit with bright strong light.  From there I added a slight vignette on the edges to complete the image. 

Overall, the images from this session came out ok. I think my technique for this concept can be refined further based on the lessons learned from this session.  So, I will be doing this concept again in the future to refine it further.  I will say I prefer shooting with a pool then a bathtub. I feel the pool allows the model more freedom of movement and lets me move around a bit better.  I think at some point I will invest in some scaffolding so I can get directly above the model to get the shot I want. Shooting down at a slight angel works but is not perfect.  You can see all the images from the session here.


Popular Posts