The idea was to position the glasses side by side to represent a loving couple. I wanted reflections beneath them so it appeared that the couple was standing at the water's edge, watching the ripples after throwing a stone into the water.
"I chose orange for the color of the water. It was more eye-catching and vibrant than the other colors I tried, like blue and red."
The picture is a compilation of four images: the top half of the ice cream glass and the splash; the stem and base of the ice cream glass; the top half of the martini glass and the splash; and the stem and base of the martini glass. I chose orange for the color of the water. It was more eye-catching and vibrant than the other colors I tried, like blue and red. I knew that there should be no ambient light on the set. Direct sunlight, for instance, would affect my ability to freeze the splash and would show movement in the water. Instead, using a flash set to 1/32 power would perfectly freeze the split-second action. I shot these images in my backyard around 6:00 p.m. when the sun was setting. I placed a Canon Speedlite 580EX II flash attached to a tripod behind a white sheet of acrylic serving as my backdrop, the camera was mounted on another tripod and I used a wireless trigger.
"It's a good idea to draw an 'X' on the chair so you know precisely where to hold the glass and where to put it back down."
I fitted a white board frame around the large sheet of acrylic to give the background some support so I could position it about three feet (one meter) off the ground. I put a plastic chair in front of the background for a place to stand each glass. My camera on the tripod stood eye level to the glass and about three feet away from it. I lifted the glass, pressed the shutter button to autofocus on the glass and then locked the focus by changing to manual focus. It's a good idea to draw an "X" on the chair so you know precisely where to hold the glass and where to put it back down. During the focusing process, make sure that you hold the glass directly above the marked spot on the chair. This ensures perfect sharpness in the glass and the splash.Next, I prepared a bucket of colored water. I used food coloring since it's harmless and easy to clean up. I also had some clean towels handy to wipe up any water splashes that might wind up on the background after each shot, and I kept a lens cloth by my side in case any drops landed on my lens.
The stem and base of the ice cream glass
The splashes were created by moving the glass back and then snapping it forward quickly, as if cracking a whip.
The stem and base of the martini glass
The top half of the ice cream glass and the splash
The top half of the martini glass and the splash