Dynamic Still Life

The purpose of photography is to be able to capture the moment by freezing it in a fraction of a second. This purpose is visibly represented at best by the photography of fast-moving subjects.

This is the job of sports photographers and reporters, but also of those involved in advertising photography.

In the adv still life, and particularly in food photography, it is often asked to take dynamic settings in which liquids and fumes are present.

This type of photography is as much fascinating as complex because it requires taking real moving sculptures, not forgetting to present the product at its best and maintain its authenticity.

Concerning the shooting of liquids, this can be done in two ways: by staging the real situation or by having a mock-up of the liquid and its sketches made by a master glassmaker from Murano.

To make our shot- during the course in Still Life photography -we chose the first solution, deciding to use electronic studio flashes, as they allow much faster times than those of the camera shutter. Their use, however, has led to the adjustment of the flash at minimum power since the time of the flash is much faster the lower its intensity.
It was then necessary to simultaneously trigger several light points in perfect synchrony.

To make this shot it was necessary to carefully cover sets and equipment with transparent film.
Since the throwing of real cubes could have chipped the glass by hitting the edge, artificial ice in transparent silicone (specifically for photo shots)  was used . Furthermore, the glass was glued to the Plexiglas slab, thus preventing it from falling during ice throwing.

In order to be able to press the shutter button in the right fraction of a second, quick reflexes were essential.
The results were then very different depending on whether the launch was in axis or inclined and also depending on the speed of the ice itself, the amount of liquid contained in the glass and the height of the shot.

At each missed attempt, it was necessary to clean up the set, refill the liquid in the glass and select new ice cubes.

To get to the two shots we were looking for, it took about forty attempts but it was useful to learn the unusual geometries that a solid body can create by diving into a liquid.

The camera we used is a Hasselblad 555ELD medium format with a Hasselblad CFV 50 II digital back and a Zeiss Macro 135mm lens.
However, any digital reflex can be used as long as you have several flashes, a translucent plastic sheet as a background and a lot of patience to clean up everything.

Article published by the blog National Geographic Italia