Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Day 21: Splash

The things we do in the name of art.

Today's challenge was to photograph a water splash. The guy over at Expert Photography really over-engineered this one in my opinion, so I decided to try to photograph a cookie splash instead.

But I didn't have any cookies. I almost went to buy a package of Oreos, but that meant I'd eat a package of Oreos, so I didn't. My little brain began whirring, thinking of other weighty objects I could drop in liquid to make a splash. Digging through the mental archives, I hit on just the right memory--Quarters. You know, the college drinking game that requires you to bounce a quarter into a cup of beer.

juice glass of beer

Surprisingly, I never played quarters. I learned early on that I could get plenty drunk on my own schedule and that drinking quickly just made me sick. But I watched a lot of quarters, and I saw a lot of beer splashed and spilled during my four years. I was pretty sure this would work.

Before you get upset that I wasted beer...I've recently determined that, like wine, beer (even in small servings) makes me ill, so I have a lot of undestined-to-be-drunk-by-me beer in the fridge. I also have a six-pack of some horrible wheat beer brought by a party guest. I wouldn't drink that stuff if I could and wouldn't offer it to my friends, so this challenge was a good use of existing materials.

beer bottle and full glass of beer

Materials needed: glass, quarter, and beer.

Optional materials I used: tripod and remote. The tripod and remote made it easier because I didn't have to hold the camera with one hand and drop (toss) the quarter with the other. If you don't have these things but you do have a helper, you probably can do without.

Continuous shooting allowed me to catch the shot. When your camera is set to continuous shooting, it takes multiple shots per second for as long as you hold down the shutter button. Check your manual, but on my Canon, I pressed the AF-Drive button on the top of the camera, then rotated the wheel on the back until the LCD display showed the icon for high-speed continuous shooting. That icon looks like a stack of pages with an H next to it.

Once everything was set up, I hovered the quarter over the glass with one hand and pressed the remote shutter button with the other. Continuing to hold down the remote button, I dropped the quarter into the glass and kept shooting until the liquid settled.

beer splash caused by a quarter

It was the most ridiculous fun. I think I dropped five or six quarters into the same glass.

beer splash caused by a quarter dropped into the glass

By the last try, when the beer already had a good head on it, I decided a mere plop wasn't sufficient and really tossed it in there.

foamy beer splash caused by tossing a quarter into a glass of beer

That's right. I was a 40-plus-year-old mom, home alone on a Tuesday, throwing quarters into beer for sport. The only sign of my age was that I didn't even have a sip. I would have kept at it longer, but my kitchen was beginning to smell like a fraternity and I had kids that needed to be picked up from camp.

foamy beer and spilled beer on a table

I am very satisfied with my splash creativity, as well as the photographic results. Anyone else have a clever idea for a splash photograph?

Tomorrow's challenge is Slow Sync Flash. This is a new concept to me, and I found Digital Photography School's Slow Sync Flash helpful in explaining the concept. Now I need to pull out my camera manual and figure out what to do with it. At the moment, I'm dubious about my likely results, but the whole point is to learn new things, and I already have.

I hope some of you will keep experimenting and learning with me. If you take any splash photos, I'd love to see your results.


  1. Susie: If u had a passer by and they saw u through the window they probably were thinking "is that woman playing with a full deck." Great pics tho. They'd make a great beer commercial.

  2. The pics turned out great :) I think I played way too much beer pong in college, but luckily I was very good at it so never got drunk!

  3. Those are FANTASTIC shots! :) Of course I'm jealous since I can't have beer for at least a few more months now (maternity!)

    Popped in to visit from the bloggy moms hop!

    Valerie @