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:
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.