Liquid Fashion

The shoot in this chapter takes fashion photography and turns it into art.

This was one of the most difficult images Karl has ever attempted to capture from a technical point of view. But the results speak for themselves and in this class you’ll see exactly how he achieved this stunning result so you can give it a go and achieve the same impressive results.

Photographing splash shots like this requires a fast flash duration, and speedlites are a great solution if you don’t have fast enough studio lights. Karl explains this in more detail throughout the shoot and also shows the setup he uses to create the perfect light in the paint and on the model.

As Karl works through the shoot you’ll see the lighting and setup he used for the shoot, including the precautions he took to protect both his equipment and model from the flying paint.

Class objectives:

  • Understand lens choices for studio photography
  • Creative photography ideas
  • How to photograph splashes
  • Freezing motion using speedlites
  • Safety precautions when photographing paint (protecting your equipment and the model)

If you enjoyed this class, take a look at our Model throws paint and Model paint blast classes later in this course. For more fashion photography classes, please take a look at our fashion photography course.

If you have any questions about this class please post in the comment section below.

NOTE: This class is available with English subtitles and automatic translations.


  1. Hi Karl
    Really enjoyed this class. Planning on having a go myself when I can find a studio willing to host!
    I do have one question. My 1200W studio lights can fire a flash duration of 1/4000 or 1/5000 on the lower power settings. And having tested with a fan as you did in another class, I get a good freeze at f7.1 ISO 200. So, if you were to use studio lights if repeating the shoot would you still shoot through scrims or select different modifiers? Many thanks.

    1. Hi Paul, yes definitely it is the modifiers which shape the light to create the mood. Modifiers have no effect on flash duration they will only reduce the amount of light (sometimes increase it if they collimate it).

  2. Bonjour Mr Taylor
    S’il vous plait pouvez vous me dire la nature du liquide que vous utilisez? est ce de la peinture industrielle qui permet de peindre les maisons?. C’est époustouflant j’aimerais réussir cela avec chacune des couleur de l’arc en ciel . Je ne possède qu’un flash cobra (speed light) est ce un problème? cependant j’ai les autres éclairages de studio.

    1. Bonjour, Non, c’est la peinture utilisée par les enfants à l’école, elle est sans danger pour la peau, etc. Elle se présente sous forme liquide et vous pouvez ensuite la diluer si nécessaire.

  3. Karl, i`m from Brazil and i am loving doing these kind of shooting. My clients are requesting me for jobs because of the splashes. Thanks for the classes, you`re a great teacher!

  4. hi karl, is it possible for me to achieve this result using only dedicated flashes CANON 580EX ll?

    1. Hi Marcus, yes absolutely if you have enough of them as they can only be used on lower powers to obtain the fast flash duration. Some of the flashes used in this I think were 580EXs or we’ve used them before on similar things. The only down side is the price of so many flashes and then the reliability of the connection, which is why it can often be cheaper and more reliable to use studio lights.

  5. So as to freeze the mouvement of liquids, is it better for me to use the highest speed of 1/800 s on my hasselblad or the 1/125 on my Fuji GFX ? Ignoring the light speed I need for this kind of picture; but to mask any background lighting. It is an advantage or not ? Thanks for your help. Regards François

    1. Hi Francois, the higher shutter speed is only useful for cutting out the ambient continuous lighting, it is the fast flash duration that freezes stuff please see the first 15 chapters on lighting theory in the portrait section.

    1. Hi Mario, the information on the paint type is in the equipment list on the lower right of the page. Cheers Karl.

  6. Hello Karl – won’t the slow-duration strobe cause blur in the paint despite using the speedlights for freezing the liquid?

      1. Hi Yes that’s correct, I only captured the shot with the speedlites, I simply used the modelling light from the elinchrom studio lights to see what the light would look like, this was explained between 1min 22 and 2mins in the video. The shutter sync speed was also fast enough to not record the modelling lights.

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