FOOD CHALLENGE | March | Splash

I almost chose not to participate in my Food Styling Group Challenge for 2012, because I was afraid of not being able to get my other two creative projects completed, let alone a third (I'm just someone who isn't okay with not turning in an assignment.  Couldn't do it in school - can't do it even for a project that no one grades.  Though I'm quite certain now that I've stated this, I'll be failing big time in this area and now quite publicly).  So, I almost missed out on just how rewarding and simply fun participating in these challenges has been!  Not to mention, I have really enjoyed the camaraderie our group has found, being both food and photo enthusiasts!  March 20th is upon us and that brings the March Challenge of .... SPLASH!

Make sure you continue on through our group to see how they captured the combination of Splash and Food.  Next up is the wonderful  Tiffany Dahle from Develop.

I was so excited to see this prompt, Splash, on the list - it has just been one of those things you always want to try out, as a photographer.  Now I had an excuse to give it a whirl.  Without further ado, here is my official Splash image:

Splash images by Carey Pace, food styling challenge

I wanted to try for that beautiful just before sunset light, and have the fluid backlit.  And this time, I recruited my husband, Shawn, to help me.  I used the continuous shooting mode on the camera and had Shawn drop or pour the object.  Since I was using my 85mm lens, I just didn't have the ability to press the shutter AND drop the object myself - my arms simply aren't that long.  In retrospect, I should have upped my ISO some more so I could have used a faster shutter to freeze all the motion better.  Oops.

We tried pouring in the cream -- not a great splash.  It was when we dropped the chocolate in the coffee that we finally made some headway.  That makes a mocha, right, so that isn't crazy out of context... right?  right??   I also foamed some milk and placed that on top before dropping in the chocolate.

Splash images by Carey Pace, food styling challenge


There is a part of you that knows something is going to be challenging.  If it were easy, everyone would do it, right?  Well...... this was even more challenging than I expected.  I actually had three separate photo experiments/shoots for this challenge.  But it was simply so much FUN to play and figure out what worked and what didn't.  I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Here was my first attempt with just water and ice, inside my dining room, just to see how I fared at capturing a splash with the camera.  I set up my D90 with the Nikon 85mm f1.8 on my tripod.  Used my remote shutter release.  These are at a high ISO on my D90 so they have noise, but I needed the higher ISO to make my shutter fast enough to freeze the motion.  I had trouble timing the ice drop with the shutter release - I kept missing the splash.  Eventually I tried using the delay timer WITH the remote and that is how I captured these.  I eventually figured out when to drop the ice with the warning beeps to perfectly capture the splash, by myself.

Not filling the glass all the way seemed to work for a better splash, as well as using 'new' ice each time.  If water had touched the ice and 'smoothed' the outside, it would glide in the water instead of making a turbulent impact.   And geewiz, did this ever make a MESS!

Splash images by Carey Pace, food styling challenge

So for attempt number two, I headed outdoors.  I wanted to use coffee, since I'm such a huge coffee fan. First I tried with water, just to test my setup out.  The light was not ideal for these, but I was running out of time before the challenge was due, and with the weather what the weather has been here, I had to go with it just in case something better wasn't possible later in the week (which thankfully, it was).

Splash images by Carey Pace, food styling challenge

And then... just for giggles, I had to include my bloopers.  Apparently, I have severe, severe aim issues.  After about the fourth time I missed, I had to just laugh at myself!  

Splash images by Carey Pace, food styling challenge

Here I was having trouble capturing the right moment.  Just a fraction of a second too soon, but I do like the tiny explosion of a splash from that first drop that impacted the coffee.


Splash images by Carey Pace, food styling challenge

To finish up, I decided to drop my swiss cake roll right in the hot coffee.

Splash images by Carey Pace, food styling challenge

Make sure you continue on to see what Tiffany Dahle from Develop has done to capture a Splash!

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I shot these with my D90 & Nikon 85mm f1.8.

9 comments:

  1. I love these, Carey! I'm laughing so hard at the outtakes but your lighting is gorgeous! I love the coffee against that green backdrop. Love the cakeroll drop best of all! I need to go make myself an iced coffee now!!

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  2. Carey! Love these and you are so funny! Great idea to put the foam/cream on top of the coffee...great contrast!

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  3. Ha! Look at you and all these fabulous examples! You are amazing, so many great "splash" images for us to look at. Great Job :)

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  4. So glad you decided to participate Jen! And I'm loving the coffee idea. Wonderful setting with the green background and who doesn't love chocolate in coffee??? Well done!

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  5. These are AWESOME Carey!! What fun - but what a mess lol!! Wonderful examples and I really love how you styled your sets for each. Way to go!

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  6. Love that glass and your props! Great splashes!! I love that little sugar pourer thingie mabob! :)

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  7. Your bloopers are hilarious, but I really love how cool the droplets look in your first group. Very fun! Glad you joined the group and didn't miss out.

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  8. I love your photo's Carey!! The top one is so perfect!!
    And I love your styling and all your outtakes.. your AWESOME my friend!! xoxo

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  9. Love, love, love your splashes Carey! That mug is perfect and with your styling (the chocolates, the napkin) it looks just perfect!

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