Capture Creative Splash Photography with this Simple DIY ‘Catapult’

Matt Huber over at YouTube channel The Garage Learning has put together a fun and creative walkthrough that takes a different approach to splash photography. Instead of manually throwing water onto his subject, he designed a simple ‘DIY catapult’ that does the job much better than he can.

Huber originally came up with this idea years ago, while trying to up his commercial splash photography game. He needed something that was easy to build, affordable, but consistent enough for professional results. That’s how he came up with the ‘bungee cord catapult’ made of a piece of wood, a bucket, a couple of bungee cords, a piece of rope, and a C-Stand knuckle.

The final product looks something like this:

This is an ingenious little design that will produce much more consistent results than trying to splash water onto your subject manually. As Huber explains in the video, consistency is key:

It’s important to note that, in order to get the rig working consistently, you need to set it up the same way every time. So fill the container with the same amount of liquid, and pull the catapult arm back to the same spot every time. This consistency is very important in creating reliable results.

Once your catapult is built, the last step is to synchronize its movement with the camera and flash. To achieve this, Huber rigs up a button that is activated by the catapult at the end of its arc. That button is then hooked up to a Pocket Wizard trigger, which is set up on a tiny delay, allowing the water to reach the subject just in time.

Once this is all set up, you can capture photos like this one:

If you’ve been itching to try something new with your product photography—and you have a garage or backyard space available where you can make a little bit of a mess—this is a great video to add to your Bookmarks.

Check out the full tutorial up top for a step-by-step breakdown that shows you exactly how to build and rig up your catapult for the best possible results. Then head over to Huber’s website to see how these humble beginnings led to some really spectacular commercial work.

(via ISO 1200)

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