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Old January 19th, 2009, 08:04 AM   #1
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Shooting Water - Shutter Speed?

Today I'm filming a commercial for a local water softener company. I plan to shoot a variety of shots of water being used in the home. Water coming out of a shower head, filling a glass with water, man taking a shower, etc...

I plan to use a lot of back lighting to make the water stand out, but I don't have enough experience yet with our EX3 to know what would be the best shutter speeds and maybe even S&Q settings for this. I've thought about:

1) Trying a faster shutter speed to show the water drops coming out of the shower head. (1/500th?). But I'm not sure if this will make for an attractive/interesting look or not.

2) Shooting at 720 30P 60fps (S&Q mode) to get the water to slow down while it's filling the empty glass cup Should I use a faster shutter speed for this as well?

I'm shooting with a Letus Ultimate and it's "supposed" to be able to handle faster shutter speeds. (I should have tested this before the day of the shoot!)

Thanks in advance! :)
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Old January 19th, 2009, 09:29 AM   #2
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I agree with using S&Q mode. I'd experiment between having the shutter at 180 as well as increasing it - even if you have to do it on set. It will be a different look and you'll be able to see what you prefer, so have a good monitor to view it.

Also, don't forget to make sure the shutter switch is in the "ON" position!
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Old January 19th, 2009, 09:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted OMalley View Post
Also, don't forget to make sure the shutter switch is in the "ON" position!
Hahaha! Been, there done that! (I'm so stupid sometimes!)

I wish I had a way to bring a monitor with me. Hopefully I'll be able to tell how it looks in the viewfinder. I hope I have the time to experiment.

I can't decide whether a sharp look (lots of DOF and a very fast shutter at normal speed) is appropriate or whether a soft look (short DOF shot in slow motion) would be better. But I gotta say, it's nice to have options! :)

Thanks Ted.
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Last edited by Mitchell Lewis; January 19th, 2009 at 10:28 AM.
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Old January 20th, 2009, 10:53 AM   #4
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If was my choice, I prefere short DoF, OverCrank (for an SloMo efect) 180 Shutter. This will bring you a nice water drops that travel the frame in a continue motion,

rather than a lot of drops in focus, that are "frozen" in diferent places of the frame.

Anyway the LCD screen is enough for judge this (you have to shoot S&Q and then play the clip to see the SloMo efect).

Good luck, and remember that cameras and water are not friends, so get a rain cover or wrap it with plastic foil (the same mother use for sandwichs)

Andres
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Old January 21st, 2009, 09:12 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I ended up liking the overcranked (slow-mo) look with shallow depth of field. When shooting in 720 30P 60fps, I couldn't see a difference between a 1/60th shutter and a 1/250th shutter. But when shooting 1080 30P 30fps, I could tell a difference between 1/60th and 1/250th. In that case, I liked the look of the 1/250th shutter. I ended up shooting everything 4 different ways.

The funny part was that we shot inside a model home. When we got to the part where the male actor/model was to take a shower, we quickly found out that the hot water heater WASN'T TURNED ON! The water was freezing, but the actor/model was unbelievably calm and you'd never know by watching the footage. He did complain about having a "brain freeze" similar to drinking a Slurpee too fast! hehehe
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