How to do High-Speed Colored Powder Effects Photography

Seeing as our brains can only process images so quickly, we often find high-speed photography to be very intriguing because it captures something that our eyes and brain cannot process fast enough. High-speed photography freezes actions and movements, allowing you to view a single moment in time for as long as you wish. The more movement and actions you add, the more intriguing it becomes. In this video, photographer Evan Sharboneau shows you how to create high-speed powder photography using some easy-to-find products and a little creativity:

For this shoot, Sharboneau used two bags of cheap flour, colored Holi powder, a dustpan, a Nikon D800, an Einstein E640 strobe with a beauty dish, and two additional strobes for backlight.

Tips For Creating Your Own High-Speed Powder Photography:

  • Make sure your powder is dry so that it doesn’t stain your model’s skin or clothes
  • Shoot in a dry area so that the powder will be easy to clean up afterward
  • Use a dust pan to throw your powder the way that you want
  • Never throw the powder into your model’s face
  • Set up a backlight so that the powder is clearly visible in your image
  • Whatever you use to create your powder, make sure it’s not toxic or otherwise harmful to you model
  • Try throwing your powder from different heights and angles to create different looks
  • Add color to your powder either with other materials or using Photoshop
  • Use strong strobes and a high shutter speed to freeze the action
high speed powder photography flash effect

Always throw the powder behind or to the side of your model, never straight towards their face

Feel free to experiment and add your own variations to this idea. Maybe drop a load of powder from above, or use a slow shutter speed to allow the powder to blur across the frame.

For Further Training from Evan:

Check out Trick Photography and Special Effects by Evan Sharboneau; a very popular instructional eBook that explains how to do most of the trick photos that often capture attention and amazement from viewers. It also teaches the basics that are essential before moving onto advanced techniques. With 300+ pages of information and 9 hours of video tutorials, it is very detailed and includes extensive explanations of many complicated methods that are very fun to learn.

It can be found here: Trick Photography and Special Effects 2.0

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One Comment

  1. Shannon Stevens says:

    Hey,
    I am looking at doing something like this for my school production excersise and was wondering what settings you had the camera on (aperture, shutter speed)
    thanks
    shannon

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