Water Lesson

It was another hot summer day here in Phoenix and my boys were playing in our little back yard pool.  I decided to grab some quick pictures.   However, I didn't put much effort into making them great, and I think it shows.  

First, when shooting splashes I need to move around a bit more aggressively to capture the splash to the side or away from the subject as much as possible.  Too much splash between camera and subject becomes a distraction especially when (second) some of the splash droplets are too near the camera and too far from the sharply focused subject.  The result is out of focus droplets interfering with the sharply defined subject.  If I want to compose water splashes between my camera and subject, I should take care to use a smaller aperture to increase the depth of field and keep as much of that splash in focus as possible along with my subject. 

Bad Splash - 1/2500 second at f/4.5 and 400 ISO

Good Splash - 1/8000 second at f/3.2 and 400 ISO

Third, I should have been using a touch of fill flash to lift up the hard shadows on this bright sunny day.  The flash was upstairs and I decided not to go get it.  Without the fill flash, every image suffered.  I was able to push up the shadows a bit in Lightroom, but this is a poor substitute for fill flash.  I believe the shadow contrast also suffered without the fill.

We Feel, So Should You - 1/8000 second at f/3.2 and 400 ISO

Finally, I had my 5Diii out for this shoot.  Usually I use my 1Dx outdoors and my 5Diii indoors.  But I had my 5Diii and didn't realize that I hadn't created a mid-day sunny outdoor color profile for it with my ColorChecker Passport until this evening when I dumped the images into Lightroom.  Not a huge deal here, but I need to get a basic set of profiles completed for times when I do not (or forget) to make one at any particular shoot.  

Naturally, I used very fast shutter speeds to stop the water and account for the sun.  But I should have closed down that aperture a bit to capture the depth of those splashes.  There was certainly plenty of latitude to be had with the shutter speed. 

Water Lesson learned!