Molix Vario lure shot in a tank with splashing water and two lights, a photo by Nicola Zingarelli on Flickr.
Yesterday, strongly pushed by my 7 years old daughter I finally filled up the fish tank and set my home studio. I really wanted to try to make the photos that I have seen done by other guys in Flickr, so I did. First mistake was to try using a black background, is my favorite but I soon discovered that with the set up I was using wouldn't work. The tank was reflecting everything like a mirror and couldn't get a decent transparent view of the glass. Off the black goes, in the white comes: problem solved.
Once I had everything settled I soon found myself looking around for something that would keep the front glass of the fish tank clean from the water drops. It is ridiculous because every time you drop the lure it would splash it again, but it felt more professional doing so.
I had two lights, both SB800 triggered with Nikon CLS; one on the left side through a transparent umbrella at the same height of the water surface, the other on camera right through another umbrella, facing down to the tank slightly angled to the background. The left speedlights was in charge of the main light and the right one would also take care of the background, trying to keep it as white as possible. Thinking it back, I believe that next time I will change this light setting, more in another post.
I tied a thin fluorocarbon trace to the upper section of a fishing rod and the lure on the other end, handed to my daughter and with the lure sitting in the middle of the tank I manually focused at that distance with a Nikkor 60mm f2.8 Micro and the D7000 on a tripod.
Then we started shooting, first with my daughter working the lure, until I decided to make a change, and put her at the shutter button, and me at the rod. This worked way better because I could tell her when to press the button and I could play the lure the way I knew it would have worked better.
We worked with 4 different lures, for at least a couple of hours, deleted at least 70% of the takes and saved the decent ones. Another good hour was needed in Lightroom to clean up things.
The result is in front of you, far from being perfect yet is a start, I have learn few important things and most of all, I have found another way to enjoy my studio work, which I love.