Journey back into paint splatter photography

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Nov 14, 2005
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I just dusted off my old stopshot studio by cognisys. Have not used it for years.
I really like stop action photography, to see things we can not see for ourselves.
Took the better part of a day to set it all up- 3 flashes controlled by a microphone trigger.
Mount black plastic over a small subwoofer- all mounted in pvc pipe.
This is much like water drop photography- black room, open camera shutter, set off .3sec sound pulse which blows the paint in the air. The microphone trigger switch then fires the flashes. Clean up the mess, and do it again.
I use 3 sb800 flashes at 1/128 power for a flash duration of about 1/40000 of a second.
Lots of variables.
Sound wave shape, frequency and amplitude controls the shape of the splatter.
Paint viscosity controls much of the shapes and "strings"
The hardest variable is time. 20msec, in this setup is too short. Flashes fire before anything happens.
80msec is way too long. Flashes catch only exiting paint.
I have no real keepers yet- but they are there. I can see them, just haven't successfully captured one yet.
Gary

20msec. Too short:
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80msec. Too long. Amplitude too high. Frequency too high.

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Dialing things in. Around 35-39msec with a 40hz squarewave. Starting to get closer.

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Butlerkid

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They look really beautiful! And the setting up process is impressive. And the after math must be messy! :p
 
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The last four are really dialed in just right!

You're apparently using the Cognisys Stopshot Studio to control the soundwave's shape, frequency and amplitude. Have you ever tried playing a piece of music and associating the shapes with that music?

What brand and kind of paint are you using? Is it 100% paint or mixed with something?

(Just in case I ever want to expand my wacko photography activities based so much on luck.)
 
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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
Sorry, for some reason I was not get notices when others posted on this thread.
I use acrylic water based paints you can pick up in any hobby or fabric store. Easy to clean up.
I have different tones and wave shapes saved as 0.3sec sound clips on the laptop.
I don't think songs would work, because after 0.3 seconds the paint is all gone.
I do everything manually. The stopshot could control everything, but it is not worth the cables and hassles.
I just turn off the lights, open the camera shutter for 2 seconds then play the sound clip. The sound splatters the paint and sets off the flashes.
I made a little tent out of plastic sheeting, so clean up is easy. I can make an image about every 5minutes.
I never know what I am going to get. Varying time changes everything- but it is trial and error. I have about 5msec from the beginning to the end of the splatter.

Yes, sub is run through an amp and preamp to give it some kick. The source is played on the same laptop that is controlling the stopshot.

I had this set up several years ago when the kids were home. They called it my mad scientist lab. I need to take a picture of it sometime, it looks a lot more complicated than it really is.
Gary
 
Joined
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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11
Mike, correct. 100% paint. It does mix with water. I tried it once years ago, but I lost the streaming trails and it was more like individual drops. I did try refrigerating the paint which made it really sticky. It was difficult as the paint changed quickly as it warmed back up.
Right now I am only working on one variable- which is time. Once I know the time range works, I will start on different sound pulses.
I have made the first step in the journey. Lots come to come.
Gary
 
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