I’m always looking for new tricks and techniques to improve my photography. Maybe it is new software to use in post production, a new lens to get the ultimate landscape or just doing something different with a familiar subject. Recently I have been experimenting with a new element in my portraits….motion. Adding moving elements, but keeping the subject still, creates different moods and concepts. Sometimes moving elements create tension and drama, other times mystery and suspense. Adding smoke to film noir creates mystery. Adding water adds drama.
These two portraits are good examples. Jeremiah, my model, is the best…he is game for anything, and has lots of creative ideas of his own. And he also is multi-talented, check out his book. For the first shot at top I had Jeremiah stand on our driveway right below the roof of our house. My wife climbed onto the roof, and poured a big bucket of water onto Jeremiah’s head…since it was already raining outside, he didn’t mind getting a little more wet.
For this image I had two assistants stand on either side of him, and spray him with hoses. But there is one important aspect of this shot. I was shooting my new Elinchrom ELC 1000s at 8 frames a second. This allowed me to capture the water and spray at just the right time before Jeremiah was soaked. Shooting the ELCs around 500 watts gives a flash duration of 1/5000, plenty fast enough to freeze the droplets. Next time you are trying to liven up a portrait, try adding motion, you might be surprised at the results.