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football | by spacepleb
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Canon EOS350D, Canon EFS 60mm macro. f/16.0, 1/250th second, ISO100. Tripod. Auto white balance.


Lighting: 2 x Nikon SB28 left and right of the ball at 1/8 power through very small white shoot through umbrellas, fired by Pocket Wizard Plus II. The ball is dropped into a glass tank of water (thanks Jim!) with the photo taken through the side. Black card behind the tank.


Set up shot here


Postprocessing: Photo rotated 180 degrees (upside down). Levels adjusted -> Black brought up to "black" out the background. Cleaned up some reflected glare / scratches / muck off the glass with blanket fill & paintbrush (all to black). Gentle unsharp mask applied. Bordered. All with Gimp/Linux.


I was watching my kids leap into the swimming pool from under the water with goggles on and the air trails are incredible. So I investigated techniques and came across Bald Monk and got enough info to give it a spin. Thanks. If only I had an aquarium at my disposal...



I would like to have lit the ball from lower so that when flipped the highlights appear to be more to the top of the ball but I couldn't mount the flashes lower. So use a higher table OR use glass table and light the bottom of the tank


Have a towel handy. Cover equipment with towels where possible - maybe even bag the flashes.


To me the ball seems slightly dimmer compared with the highlights in the air / water surface, without blowing out those highlights I'm not sure how to improve that.... Maybe using a black and white ball would solve it. There must be a lighting solution. Maybe snooting / feathering the flashes. Thinking...

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Taken on June 1, 2009