Travails with my camera

Holi Photos

So I had a friend of a friend contact me as she is trying to take some low-key Holi photos to sell on cards – a cross between a Bollywood set piece and a paint fight at nursery.  How do you light it I was asked?

There’s an entire industry grown up around these sorts of pictures, taking portraits whilst throwing stuff at people or inanimate objects.  I checked in ffoyles book shop and their were 3 different 200 page plus manuals on the subject.  All say you use a couple of lights, 1 on the subject, 1 on the paint.  You need a fast shutter to freeze the paint in mid-air, therefore you need either a very high output quick flash or bright continuous lights.  It looks something like this:

(c) BasBoerman(c) BasBoerman


However, it forgets one thing – Flour, died flour and most water-based powder paints are starch-based.  Compacted it’s fine – mix it as an aerosol powder with air and add a spark:

If you’re using electrical lighting, you better be 100% that the flour can’t contact anything live, that your lamps (continuous or flash) don’t get too hot and that nothing is arcing.


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