Liquid fashion

The shoot in this chapter takes fashion photography and turns it into art. I won’t deny that this was one of the most difficult images I’ve ever attempted to capture from a technical point of view. But the results speak for themselves and here I’ll talk you through exactly how I achieved it so you can give it a go for yourself and achieve the same stunning and impressive results.


  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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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