Water Gun

IMG_9129Plastic water guns can be so much fun!

Only a few things to take care of.

1. The gun, or whatever element you hold, should be transparent or translucent.

2. you should be opaque.

3. the background should be bright so light will bounce off it.

4. the light source should be much stronger than the ambient light.


This ugly diagram explains the setup.

The Gun (1) lets the light go through it towards the camera, unlike me (2) who happens to be opaque.

The white background (3), a wall bounces the light from behind us.

The light source is a single flash, mounted with a grid. so it is very directional and doesn’t “spill”. In other words, more like a flashlight than a lamp.

It is basically a back-lit portrait, but as the light travel to the wall, some “spill” brushes my¬†cheek and shoulder and get caught in the silvery zipper. So there is still some details in the image and it is not a pure “cut-out” figure.

Since the light is so confined, the background is only lit in the center and leave to corners darker. Creates some drama.


Now to point (4). Because of all of the above, letting the single light source doing all the work, it was essential to make a basic light measurement. I set up the camera (Aperture, duration, ISO) and took a picture with the flash OFF to make sure the ambient light does not get in the way. it seemed totally black, brightening up showed there is some details in there.

Shooting self portraits is always a lot of guess work. As you can see, the original frame was larger. It’s always better to crop some than to paint the rest…

I hope it inspired someone out there.

… and some more gun fun. Just turned the flash slightly to hit my face as well




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