How did you shoot this? There’s Always One

This is a guest post by Nick Wheeler. Nick is a wonderful photographer with a lot of ingeniosity in his setups and generous in his knowledge. Today he is sharing with us the setup behind his “There’s Always One” picture.

There's Always One (by nickwheeleroz)

General Info
For this picture I had to figure out a way to turn a glass of water upside down. A quick check on the electric internet didn’t reveal any commercially available antigravity devices so I had to come up with something more in the realms of possibility. My first thought was to freeze the water. I had read in the comments on someone else’s picture that if you use distilled water and double boil it you will get crystal clear ice. That sounded plausible but as I live in Queensland and it is very warm and humid at the moment that would mean problems with the glass sweating. Not to mention the fact that I would have to shoot the picture very quickly before things started to thaw!

In the end I decided to try making my own jelly. I added a small amount of red food colouring to some water and then added a sachet of gelatine. I filled two glasses (just in case there were any problems) and put them in the fridge. Because the glasses had such tall stems, they wouldn’t fit on the fridge shelf so I had to put them in the door. I told my better half to be careful when she went to open the door or the glass might fly out. Sure enough, half an hour later there was a loud crash and the sound of shattering glass.

So for the picture, there are three glasses filled with water and blue food colouring and a fourth filled with red jelly sitting on a sheet of glass supported between two chairs.
There's Always One Setup II (by nickwheeleroz)

Strobist Information:

There's Always One Setup I (by nickwheeleroz)

  1. Background: Seamless white paper background with Elinchrome D-Lite 4 fired on full power through a softbox.
  2. Left an Right: SB-28 fired through translucent umbrella by PW. 1/2 power 24mm zoom.
  3. Underneath: Elinchrome D-Lite 4 fired on half power pointing straight up and sitting in a box to control light spill.

So in short there is an Elinchrom D-lite 4 flash head in a box under the glasses and another one pointing at the seamless white paper background. Both are triggered by PocketWizards. I also used two SB-28’s on either side fired through translucent umbrellas, again by PocketWizards. The SB-28’s are set at ½ power with 24mm zoom. The background flash is set at full power and the flash under the glass is on ½ power.

Again I’d like to thank Nick for this tutorial and I can assure you that you will see more of his setups here at adidap, of course you can also visit his photostream if you don’t want to wait.

Now if you have a setup you’d like to share with us please do not hesitate to contact us.