Tips and Tricks

High speed Photography, How do you do it?

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So as those of you who know me personally, I love technical photography, anything that involves a camera and is complex to do then I will absolutely love doing it! I have photographed Galaxies as far away as 52 million light years away, I have done sport photography and I thought now was time I tried to do high speed still imaging. So I popped out and purchased the following items:

Canon 100mm Macro lens Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro IS USM Lens

Hahnel Captur remote for Canon Hähnel Captur Remote Control & Wireless Flash Trigger for Canon Black

Hahner Captur Pro Module 

Hoya 67mm Revo SMC protection filter Hoya 67mm Pro-1 Digital Protector Screw-in Filter

Velbon EX-Macro tripod Velbon EX-Macro

Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT II Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT Flash for Camera

High Speed photo kit

All of this enabled me to take a shot like this:

flute

This is a champagne flute that was shot with an air pellet, the bullet can be seen on the right and the flash froze all the movement of the glass splaying everywhere!

So how did i go about doing this?

My first attempts where fairly unsuccessful, I connected all the kit up and set the camera up on a SLIK tripod and the sound sensor on the smaller Velbon tripod. I used a coke bottle to hold a tomato and then shot it from a fairly short distance. This ended up in a lot of photos just missing the impact and creating a huge amount of tomato puree which, by the way, is remarkably difficult to get out of furniture. It turned out after a bit of research that even a high end DSLR does not have the response time to receive an input signal and trigger the camera in time to take the shot, and at the speeds we are dealing with here even 1/100th of a second makes a huge difference as the bullet (even on an air pistol) has moved 6 feet in that time, far and way out of the field of view of the camera!

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So, we had established that a camera does not respond fast enough to take the picture we needed, but we can’t speed up the camera and without using laser light gates (really expensive) we can’t capture the bullet in flight. So, after a bit of research it turns out the best thing to do is trigger the flash as the flash can respond literally at the speed of light (or damn near it anyway) You therefore connect the captur equipment to the flash and NOT the camera. You setup in a darkened room and set an exposure of 8 seconds or so at a high F-Stop of about 8 so you can capture as much detail as possible Set the mirror in the up position as well that way you don’t have to worry about the mirror movement setting off the flash) Then, fire the gun, the noise sets off the flash and the flash then acts effectively as the shutter for the camera!

All in all taking freeze frame images of high speed movements really is quite a simple thing to do and for comparatively small amounts of money!

 

I hope you found this article useful and I look forward to seeing your high speed captures earning money on Clickasnap!

Tom Oswald

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