advanced photoshop

Create paint splash stock

Posted in:
General, by Adam Smith

learn how to set up and shoot paint splashes

Working with paint can be very messy, which is why many of us will invest in existing photo stock, adding this to our paint splat images instead.

However, what if we knew how to shoot in a controlled environment to get that perfect snap – would there be any need to spend money on stock?

To help us answer that question, this Resource Project teaches you how to grab that snapshot, avoid blurring and minimise mess. Our end results will be suitable for commercial or personal projects by the time we’re finished.

We also discuss ways we can use paint splash stock to create our own abstract looks – adding movement to energise artworks.

Maximise image quality with the correct set up

Paint and water mix

It’s imperative to create the right consistency from our raw materials.

Add too much water and the solution becomes diluted. Add too little and it becomes too thick.

Try a 2:1 (water to paint) ratio for the best results, and also use a 60 millilitre pipette for easy extraction.

Create paint splash stock

Instillation set up

Tape the pipette to a reflector arm overhead and then place either a Perspex or a white laminated, medium-density fibreboard beneath.

Paint drops will bounce off this and it’s also easier to wipe clean later.

Shoot against a white backdrop, so that removing paint splashes from digital files becomes straightforward.

Create paint splash stock

Camera set up

Shoot at 1/3400 sec to effectively freeze-frame the droplets and splatters ejected from the pipette.

Use a flashgun fast enough to sync and achieve the correct lighting. Get correct depth of field by setting the camera to an aperture of F11.

A prime macro lens ensures crisp detail and brighter images.

Create paint splash stock