After a recent post to Facebook, I was asked if I could do a tutorial on how I captured the image below.
A very easy shot if you have the equipment so here’s what was used and how it was captured.
Equipment: Nikon D90. Nikon 18-70mm (wide angle) lens. 3 Yongnuo 500ex II speedlights. 1 blue gel, Tripod.
I filled a balloon with water and placed it on an old table outdoors. I then balanced the toy ducks on the balloon. To burst the balloon, I used a pin cellotaped to a wooden spoon handle.
Here’s a diagram of the scene/setup.
The flash freezes any movement so the ones pointing at the subject should be set somewhere between 1/32 and 1/28 power. I set my shutter speed to 1/160 sec (max flash sync speed on a Nikon D90) dialed in the settings shown above and took a test shot to make sure the exposure was OK. NOTE: the blue ‘gel’ used on the flash pointed at the white wall is just a simple sweet wrapper!!
Once you are happy with the exposure, it’s time to burst the balloon. It’s also a good idea to keep the object you use out of shot as it will also get captured by the camera. For this shot the balloon was burst from at the bottom from the front, you can just see it in the final shot. It’s probably wise to keep a few filled balloons handy as you probably won’t get it right first time. Sometimes a bigger splash is captured or as in this case, I just managed to catch the bursting action a split second after the pin made contact with the balloon.
Experimenting is key, try to fill the balloons differently for more or less dramatic explosions, place different objects on or even in the balloon if you can. keep your equipment dry by covering flashes etc with clear plastic bags and have a towel handy for obvious reasons. Above all have fun and you can share your images with me on my Facebook Page/Dave Flynn Photography.