Start spraying and shooting to make the water stand out
01 Background and flower
Start by putting up a dark background. For our shoot we used the black side of our reflector. Also place your flower into bottle or container. Something with a small neck is best. Leave a gap between the flower and the backdrop as we’re going to be placing our flash in this space.
02 Tripod and shutter release
Set your camera up onto a tripod next to your flower. This makes things much easier as your hands are free to spray and take the image. It’s not completely necessary but a remote shutter release can also come in handy as it enables you to be that bit more flexible.
03 Camera settings
Put your camera into manual (M) mode and set the shutter speed to 1/250 sec to sync with the flash light. Set the ISO low (to ISO100) to retain maximum image quality. Set the aperture between f/8 and f/11 to start with. This is so the flower and water drops stay sharp.
04 Pop up flash settings
To trigger our flashgun and to illuminate the front of our flower we’re going to use our Nikon’s pop-up flash. If we fire it at full power our subject will be blasted away with too much light. To change the intensity, go to the flash control menu and turn it down to 1/10.
05 Flash settings
To avoid lighting the background, place your flashgun behind the flower and aim the head upwards. Make sure the flash’s sensor can ‘see’ the camera. Set the flash to Wireless, and to SU-4 mode. Adjust the intensity to balance with the camera settings. Our was set to 1/64 in Manual.
05 Get the timing right
Make sure your camera’s main AF point is locked onto the centre of the flower, then switch the lens to Manual. Now you’re ready to spray and shoot. Have a few goes. Notice how you can alter the result by tweaking the position of the flashgun and spraying the water in different directions.