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Making a splash with high-speed photography

Commercial still-life photography these days is often done with 'remote control' art direction. The photographer is expected to set up the shot and send Polaroids to the art director by e-mail to get the go-ahead to shoot on film. With regular still-life pictures this is not too bad as the set and lighting can be left for hours if needs be, as long as no one trips over a sync lead!

With high speed shots the same principle applies, you just need more and different tools. Regular studio flash systems have a flash duration of about 1/250 sec, and this is not fast enough for most moving objects if you are looking for good sharpness. I use Elincrom 250R monobloc flash units, partly because they have a flash duration of 1/6000 sec, but also because they are at their fastest when at full power. I tend to use between two and six units, but have to remember to have them all at full power, otherwise I get fringing of the moving object.

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