Strawberries and cream anyone?
This was another one of those shots I have wanted to do for a long time.
Choosing a glass bowl with a reasonably sized surface, I filled it with some thick double cream. After some trial and error (more error than trial), I found the viscosity of the cream too thick resulting in an unimpressive crown when the strawberry hit the surface.
Next I used milk, and also moved the camera up a bit to see more of the surface area rather than just the sides of the bowl.
For the background I used a cut-off from our bathroom floor vinyl, draped up against a back board to create an infinity curve. Having a wipeable surface also made cleaning up easier.
The flash gun was placed on a small tripod to the right hand side of the cream and triggered remotely by the speedlite transmitter.
I had David (my long-suffering assistant, AKA husband) dropping the strawberry into the bowl for me, counting down from 3 and me pressing the shutter the moment he let go. I tried doing the shoot in total darkness, but found the timing really hard when I couldn't actually see the strawberry falling, so I left one tiny light on in another part of the room.
If David held the berry too low above the milk, I didn't seem to have the time to register that he had dropped it, so was always pressing the shutter too late. The opposite was true for dropping it from too great a height – I ended up missing it by firing the camera too soon and mostly just getting a picture of a bowl of milk. I did get a couple of fun pictures of strawberries mid-air though! It took a lot of trial and error – and an incredible amount of mess - to get the timing and distance just right. After each shot I went to the PC to check the image while my wonderful assistant cleaned up the milk which was all over the vinyl.
Once I'd finally got the shot I wanted, I had to clean the picture up a little in in Photoshop to get rid of any small bits in the milk, bubbles that had formed or unwanted droplets.
I also wanted to add a bit of additional interest to the scene, so I took another shot with just the bowl of milk, spoon and extra strawberries (without any dropping from the sky), and layered them with the drop-photo in Photoshop. I figured it was far simpler to do it this way than having to clean all those accessories up, as well as the surface below, after each shot.
Finally tweaking the levels, saturation, sharpening, shadows and highlights and curves in Photoshop and I was done.