A hot summer day, late afternoon sun, a sprinkler and a DSLR.

This a great recipe for some slow shutter speed experiment and cooling off mayhem, chaos and friends.

Following an afternoon walk and picnic to a local park, a need to run through the water sprinkler emerged.

With a few voluntold subjects the creative and spirited photographer mind was put into gears and the photography gear put into place.

Let the sprinkling and shooting begins!

Getting To The Goal

Boy with goggles facing a water sprinkler
Photo 1 –> ISO:100, aperture: f/5.6, shutter: 1/160 sec, lens: 18-135 kit lens

The onset consisted of some trial and error in figuring out the best placement for the sprinkler and subject based on the light source available and optimal camera settings keeping the end goal in the spirited mind.

When √Čtienne walked up to the sprinkler set at the maximum height, the water coming out of the sprinkler was hitting his forehead above the goggles and shooting up from there [photo 1].

The laughing and squealing aside, the resulting spectacle was hilarious. For this first shot I still had my shutter speed fairly high but the tableau was taking shape.

Boy with goggles facing a water sprinkler
Photo 2 –> ISO:100, aperture: f/36, shutter: 1 sec, lens: 18-135 kit lens

With Shelby (the camera) safe and secure on a tripod away from any water, I lowered the shutter speed to get some motion blur and soften the water [photo 2].

As can be quickly noticed, the motion blur on the water is also showing itself on the subject. That was my bad for failing to instruct the subject to remain in position instead of following the rotating sprinkler to maximize the sprinkling on his forehead.

The Goal

Boy with goggles facing a water sprinkler
Photo 3 –> ISO: 100, aperture: f/36, shutter: .5 sec, lens: 18-135 kit lens.

Now that the much needed instructions have been communicated to our fearless subject, a few more shots were taken.

With our subject firmly planted in front of the sprinkler I also increased the shutter speed by half a second.

The resulting photo turned out pretty good with enough motion blur on the water and not on the subject and I am quite comfortable calling this one our final tableau [photo 3].

Spirited Creativity

Rainbow from a water sprinkler
Photo 4 –> ISO:100, aperture: f/5.6, shutter: 1/80 sec, lens: 18-135 kit lens

The spirited creativity contribution for this post is a photo of a rainbow generated from the sunlight hitting the water out of the sprinkler.

As the subjects were getting ready for their moment of fame, I was moving around the sprinkler to evaluate the overall setup of the scene; sprinkler positioning and height, subject positioning, where the light source was and so forth.

Through this process I captured some rainbows and this photo turned out really good right out of the camera but as spirited content, it needed a little something so I increased the saturation and hue on the rainbow itself and voilà!

Considerations For Next Time

Although this experiment turned out good, shooting at slow shutter speed in daylight often results in overexposure.

In this particular instance I did not have a big problem with overexposure because of the late afternoon sun low enough in the sky and blocked by the house in our backyard.

That being said, some decent filters would definitely make this exercise more fun specially with colored ones and make it easier to control the exposure.

Onward

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