Shooting falling objects

Hello all! 🙂

Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted in here. Forgive me for being such a lazy person 😛

Anyways, for the last couple of months I’ve been asked about how I create my falling objects photos. Today I’m going to share a behind the scene story about my process. It’s pretty easy and simple and so much fun to capture falling objects and I always love how they add that extra something to a photo. Hope you’ll like it 🙂

Setup and props:

First thing’s first, I plan my scene. This is the first and most important part for me, I like to prepare and have an idea in my head what my photo should look like before shooting it no matter how simple it is. Because I tend to forget little things and details, so not only this saves me from forgetting but also it’s a great time saver. So try to have an idea about what you want to create, I sometimes sketch out the scene I’m going for. This will help you to set up your composition and also later the processing part will be much easier.

Most of the time my setup is very simple, especially for the flower photos. Either it’s a single or two flowers or a little group of flowers in a teacup. I like to keep it minimal and simple because I’m already going to add some elements, so nothing should look distracting.

Settings

I use a wide aperture like f/1.8 for this, it’s just enough to capture the details I want and also creates beautiful bokeh. And a high shutter speed is recommend, something like 1/1200 sec or 1/1600 should be great.

Lighting

Lighting is another most important part of this. You will need some kind of backlight or light falling from above, to make sure your falling objects are well lit. Otherwise they wont be as much visible as you want. So place your subject in a place where you can get some backlight on your objects, this will make them visible and the reflecting light will create a beautiful bokeh.

Shooting

When I first photographed something like this I was trying to get everything in one shot. And that was just not working. As I prefer to work outdoor, I had to face some problems like wind blowing up the petals, and with something as light as the petals you can’t be sure that they will fall in the desired direction. Another crucial part is to keep up with the timing. So you need to take several shots to understand the character of the objects and what would be your best timing to capture them before you shoot the final photo.

So now what I do with this kind of shots, first I take my main shot of my subject, then I switch my camera to manual focus to keep a fixed focus. I drop the objects from above and use self-timer to capture them falling. I take several shots to ensure the objects would fill the frame, and later I merge them together with my main image in Photoshop. This is why a tripod will come in handy. You just keep your camera on the tripod, take all the shots you need…and later just mask in and out the falling objects you wanna add or remove. This gives much easier workflow and saves a whole lot of time, and you get the look you wanted.

Editing

After done with the shooting now you can choose the photos and combine them in Photoshop into one picture.

I always take a main shot first without anything added. This helps me know from which photo to start. I open the main shot or the plate, then add the objects by using the masking tool in Photoshop.

So this is my main shot

tut1

And now these are the shots I’m going to combine into a final image

tutorial

I open them first in Camera RAW, make some regular adjustments like contrast, noise reduction etc as needed. And then I start putting them together. I start by the main image, copy and paste the other photos over it as layers and then I mask in or out the objects as I like.

tutorial111

After combining them I give the image a colour treatment according to the mood I want to create. I use different adjustment layers like gradient, selective colour, colour balance, sold colour etc and change the blend modes and opacity to get the desired look. And finally a little bit sharpening et voila! I’m done 🙂

Final result

exam1

more photos I’ve shot using this method

exam2exam3exam4

Here’s a speed edit video of the whole editing process

I do hope you like this and this helps a bit. Let me know if you have any questions and also please do share if you got any tips. See you next time, Love & peace 🙂