How To Create The Perfect Milk Splash Outdoor

Jun 21, 2015

Laya Gerlock

Laya Gerlock is a Portrait and Product photographer based in the Philippines. His passion is teaching and sharing his knowledge in Photograpy and has been doing this for 6 years. You can follow his work on his web page, follow him on Flickr and if you happen to come by Cubao, Quezon City (To Manila, Philippines) he gives a great workshop!

How To Create The Perfect Milk Splash Outdoor

Jun 21, 2015

Laya Gerlock

Laya Gerlock is a Portrait and Product photographer based in the Philippines. His passion is teaching and sharing his knowledge in Photograpy and has been doing this for 6 years. You can follow his work on his web page, follow him on Flickr and if you happen to come by Cubao, Quezon City (To Manila, Philippines) he gives a great workshop!

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I have been writing for DIYP for over a year now, and I can’t believe I haven’t written an article on how to create milk splash shots. It is, after all, one of my favorite things to do (and it is amazingly easy). So, here it is. This will be a two part article. In this article we will be doing it outdoors using only ambient light and reflectors and next week we will bring it indoors using strobes.

What you’ll need:

  • Some milk (duh!)
  • A glass or a cup (depending if you are a tea or coffee kind of person)
  • A Strawberry or a Carrot
  • Shutter release cable (optional, but will make your life easier)
  • A spoon
  • A camera (double Duh!)
  • A fast (prime) lens
  • A Tripod
  • A Reflector

milk Setup (1)

What you’ll do:

1. Prepare your shooting area. For this tutorial we are using ambient light only (strobes next week) so find a well lit area. I picked our garden for this project and was shooting around 1PM. For my base table I was using a DIY Wood Planks.

2. (Optional) Thinning the milk: If you don’t want to waste too much milk, you can mix it with water at about 1 part milk to 2 parts water ratio.

milk dillute
3. Put some milk in the glass and pre-focus on your subject. Set your camera to manual focus once done focusing.


milk Setup (3)
4. Get your reflectors and light the glass (I was using a DIY reflector made our of cardboard and silver wrapping paper).

milk Setup (5)
5. Camera settings:  you should try to get a shutter speed of around 1/2000 or faster. (you may have to get your aperture open all the way, this is ok, you’d get a dreamy feel for the photo). I was shooting in manual mode, ISO200, 1/3200 shutter, f2

milk Setup (2)
6. After doing some experiments for the splash, I found at that the best object to use to drop on the milk is a strawberry or a cut carrot.

milk splash (2)
8. You can shoot using Continuous High mode or Burst mode. If you are doing this alone, use a shutter release cable so you can trigger the camera with one hand, and drop the fruit with the other.

milk Setup (4)
9. Drop the object and click your shutter.

milk splash (4)

10. Use your spoon to get the carrot or strawberry out of the cup and repeat.

milk splash (1)
TIP: Dip the strawberry in the milk just before dropping it, some milk will drip and will help you aim.

milk splash

milk splash (3)

Editing:

Here is a quick tutorial on how to get a dreamy feel on your photo.

1. Open your image in Photoshop.

Milk splash Edit (1)
2. Adjust using levels or curves.

Milk splash Edit (10) copy

 

4. Create a new layer

Milk splash Edit (2) copy

5. With the gradient tool select Linear Gradient

Milk splash Edit (3) copy

You can try the colors that I used or you can play around with different colors.

6. Select colors as shown below

Milk splash Edit (4) copy
Milk splash Edit (5) copy

7. Change the blend mode of the layer to Soft light .(You can also try using other the other blend modes. Lighten, Screen, Soft Light, and linear light works best for me). Adjust the opacity and feel of the layer. (My Opacity was around 61% and fill about 80%)

Milk splash Edit (6) copy
8. (OPTIONAL) I wanted a little bit more color to the shot. So I added another layer of linear gradient with a different color and repeated Step 7.

Milk splash Edit (7) copy

 

Add a watermark and your done.

Milk splash Edit (8) copy

Final Images:

milk final


milk final (1)

 

milk final (2)

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Laya Gerlock

Laya Gerlock

Laya Gerlock is a Portrait and Product photographer based in the Philippines. His passion is teaching and sharing his knowledge in Photograpy and has been doing this for 6 years. You can follow his work on his web page, follow him on Flickr and if you happen to come by Cubao, Quezon City (To Manila, Philippines) he gives a great workshop!

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4 responses to “How To Create The Perfect Milk Splash Outdoor”

  1. catlett Avatar
    catlett

    Nice tutorial. Thanks for sharing it!

  2. Rakelespinosa Avatar
    Rakelespinosa

    muy bueno

  3. Brian Avatar
    Brian

    Very clear instructions, thank you. I might just look for a cow to complete the project!

  4. JCM Photography Avatar
    JCM Photography

    Will you still get the splash effect without the reflector? I shot a paint splash photo outside at 250iso 5.6 ap and 1/250 and the paint looked more like a smear than a splash. Here’s one of the shots. Any suggestions?