Posted by David Bayliss
An article from a Willfield Camera Club member on a high-speed photography shoot he undertook recently.
My Final Results
How did I do it?
What to do?
Well it started with a picture I saw on flickr in the high speed group and thought that’s a great idea to try and capture and add more to (my own design). Well as normal, it turned out it harder to do than I thought.
It’s great to capture what is too fast for the eye to see and I had an IPhone App called Trigger Trap which I thought would allow me to trigger the camera fast enough to capture to photo (costs about £25 for the cable and App).
Preparation – I used a room in my house and set the gear on top of a table. As I was taking the photos in the day I used black paper roll on a stand and blacked out windows plus turned the lights out and tethered the camera to my computer.
I then spent some time finding the ideal exposure etc and also set the focus on manual to remain the consistency. My final camera settings were F7.1, ISO 100, 1/250 sec shutter speed.
The camera was located on a tripod and I used Adobe Light room 5 in tether mode and then adjusted the photos later. I only expected to get about 2 photos out of 500 which is what happened in the end – expect to delete lots of photos as it just takes patience.
First run – I set the camera to continuous camera mode and set the flash to 1/64 power so it would fire very fast – however after about 100 photos I failed to get any that were good enough ( see below).
Third Run – I then switched to another device called Trigger Smart which gives the ability to amend delay time as well, plus works off sound and you can also buy Infrared sensors – prices start from £240. This worked, yippee!
Computer – for my photos as the focus is critical, I tether the camera to my home pc so I can get a closer look at every shot to check on the focus and clarity of the photos.
Camera – I used my Canon 5D Mk11 as the frames per second speed is relatively fast
Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom
About 60% of these pictures were created in Lightroom and then I merged the photos together in Photoshop plus used the free transform function to twist the smoke around.
This shot took 2 sessions and about 3 -4 hours for the photo taking, plus 3 hours in Photoshop. However this was great fun as my daughters helped a lot
What did I learn?
It’s harder than I thought and I my initial choice of Trigger Trap was not fast enough!
To see more examples – visit my Facebook and Flickr accounts: