Instructables

High Speed Photography

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High speed photography usually requires some technical know how in order to create a trigger (you can also buy them too) that will allow you to get the perfectly timed shot. Many of these triggers use light or sound to get the timing perfectly. The technique that I use doesn't require triggers but a lot of trial and error. Attached are some examples of high speed photos that I got using this technique.
 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
Photo on 2009-09-15 at 18.31 #2.jpg
Required:
1. Camera (You'll want one that you can mess with the shutter speed and aperture)
2. Tripod
3. External Flash

Optional:
1. A Friend (have an extra set of hands can make the process much easier)
2. Flashlight (it'll help you get around in the dark)
3. Black shirt (used as a backdrop)

In addition to these you will need certain things (subjects) to take pictures of. Some examples of things you can do are:
- Water drops hitting water or a hard flat surface. Using food coloring mixed with milk makes for the best drops.
- Things that "explode" make great high speed shots. Some things you can use are water balloons, eggs, glass, and bubbles.
- Something else that looks great are things that are dropped into flour. The flour creates a really cool effect.
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 Can I do this with a point and shoot 
you may tie the balloon to a string or hang it so that you can have one extra hand to hold your shutter release chord.

or better use the 10-second timer of ur camera and hit the balloon at the exact time the 10th second strikes.
Ngendrer4 years ago
this is awesome very cool dude, i will practice this one......thanks a lot!!
McGrep4 years ago
Hate to comment again, but what do you suggest is suitable for protection of the lens and camera? Knowing my luck –which resembles Murphy's Law– I'd most likely splatter my Tamron lens and Sony D-SLR A100... not willing to risk it without protecting the equipment as well as retaining a great effect (i.e. without splattering milk or water on a protective shield, not too happy about that). Any thoughts?
banksey (author)  McGrep4 years ago
That's actually a pretty good question. I ran into this problem one time before when I was experimenting with eggs. The camera is pretty resilient and there's not much you can do to protect it unless you want to rig it with a plastic bag or if you have the money you can get an underwater housing. But I don't think there will be enough water/milk to damage your camera. What you should worry about however is your lens. It's not really good to get it dirty with milk and water stains. I'd recommend getting a cheap UV filter to put on your camera however so if any water or milk does hit it you won't have to worry about wiping down your lens but just a cheap filter.
McGrep banksey4 years ago
Thank you for the quick reply, I wasn't expecting one so soon!
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Well, I already had my UV filters attached to my lenses for quite a while, maybe I'm just being a bit too cautious. However, I was thinking about just propping up a sheet of clear, clean Plexiglas then drilling a spot for my flash... with any such luck, maybe I'd be able to take a clear photo without as much risk. I don't know if that's such a great idea, though.
Lancealator4 years ago
 The first photo is the best one i got. I love it. Let me know what you guys think. I left the shutter open then flashed it with my point and shoot camera from the side or above like the bottom picture.
 
Best Coke water slash.jpgAbove small pool rings.jpg
banksey (author)  Lancealator4 years ago
Great pictures man! I actually really like the ripples in the second shot but your first shot is awesome!
McGrep4 years ago
Impressive! And much easier than expected, to boot! I've gotta try this with my DSLR and maybe use another Instructable to get that old flash working...
ZaderMan4 years ago
Wow! That is amazing! I wish I had a good enough camera to do this! Great Instructable!
banksey (author)  ZaderMan4 years ago
You don't really need a "good enough" camera. Most simple point and shoots have the ability to do a few second exposures that would allow you to still attempt this. :)
I have a cheap digital camera, but I don't know how to change the exposure. How do you do that?
banksey (author)  Win7Maniac4 years ago
What kind of camera do you have?
Do you think that a one second apperture exposure would be enough? Sadly that's the highest that mine does.
1 second? is it a mobile. usually a camera has an "M" or "P" mode that you can use to change settings
Yes it does have a / p / m, no it's not a phone and it can do anything from 1/1000th of a second to 1 second shutter speed.
mine goes from 1/1200 to 8 second shutter speed :) btw nice nikon and is there any other way without external flash?
banksey (author)  Mathias Re'eh4 years ago
If you have a fast shutter and a good aperture then it is possible to catch some high speed stuff, though not so easily, but this is the way I've figured out....perhaps with some tinkering you can figure out a different way yourself.
banksey (author)  Kryptonite4 years ago
One second would be pretty difficult. You can try setting the camera on a timer and then doing everything within that one second but there would be a lot of trial and error!
Ah, indeed.

I think I'll save up for a camera, hopefully one posted on another Instructable that I can't find at the moment. Which is annoying. But yeah hopefully that will have better options in terms of photography and videography.
I don't know if you said it, but what iso are you using?
banksey (author)  Marble of Doom4 years ago
Great question, I didn't mention it but I used an ISO of 200. Generally the lower you go the less graininess there will be. (With digital photography at least) Since we're using flash and a lot of them are capable of producing more than enough light you can usually go as low as your camera allows.
Sweet, thanks!
MjPadfoot4 years ago
can i use the same technique but without using flash? wait, no thats a pointless question....unless i can somehow get a water proof light source into whatever im taking a picture of and...... o, nevermind, Great instructable!! and awesome pics:P
very nice skill dude
banksey (author)  supercrazytutorials4 years ago
Thanks, I appreciate it. It's not really skill though! I just love photography and try to practice a lot!
jdege4 years ago
If you should decide to try to make a trigger, you can find good advice (and a pretty decent book) at: http://www.camerahacker.com/
banksey (author)  jdege4 years ago
Maybe in the near future :) It seems like the triggers on that website are just to click then the shutter goes. For something like this you would need a light trigger where something senses light and then the camera shoots. Not so easy.
jdege banksey4 years ago
No. But I have seen instructions for some, wandering around the net. The tricky part is the delay.
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