Diver Donut Photo

I just came across this photo and wanted to share with you how I made it. It's really quite simple to make a photo like this. What I mean by that is that you don't need a lot of technical photo experience to make a photo like this. It takes some creative thinking, and since that is an ambiguous term I'll describe the steps.

  1. I was searching through Amazon.com and came across this little figurine of a diver. The item had nice details, looked realistic enough, and the reviews for it were excellent. So I decided to buy it. Apparently she has a name, and it's Michelle the Underwater Adventurer.
  2. Once Michelle arrived I needed a bowl for her to swim in. I could have bought a small fish tank but I thought a bowl would be nicer. Rather than getting a boring salad bowl or mixing bowl, I decided to go to Crate & Barrel and bought a fancy bowl that might be used as a flower vase or to hold something ornamental. It probably cost $15 and it was a necessary item for the photo, so I bought it.
  3. I had been watching the TV show Breaking Bad and I noticed in one of the more powerful scenes they had used blues and reds. The palette was in my mind, so I went to the nearby art supply store and bought some red and blue boards. I set them atop a bookcase.
  4. I got a donut (went for colorful sprinkles to complement the diver) and then filled the bowl with water and put Michelle in the bowl. I decided not to put the donut in the water because it would get soggy. So the creative decision to have it outside was based on necessity! Now it was time to make the photo.
  5. Using this Yongnuo Flash pointed at the diver from the front with a Honl Honeycomb Grid attached to the front of it, I started to photograph the diver. I moved the flash with honeycomb grid around while photographing. This is where most of the experimentation takes place. The camera used is really not crucial, but it should have a flash "hot shoe" where you can attach a Yongnuo transmitter like this one. It really does not matter whether you use a Canon, Nikon, Yongnuo or any other flash unit. I happen to like the Yongnuo units because they are technically advanced units and easy to operate.
  6. I experimented, played around, tried different angles, backgrounds, and moved things around. I just had fun with it and happened to get a photo that's better than I expected. The water bubbles inside the bowl captured all of the colors of the donut sprinkles. That was a nice surprise because it adds a totally new element to the photo. It's like an unexpected rainbow.
  7. That's it! If you practice a bit with the camera, flash and transmitter it will be very easy for you to take photos like this. This photo was mostly successful about the idea to get a diver, a bowl,  choose colors for the background, and select a donut. These are all variables that are under your control. Your success as a photographer is dependent upon your ability to meld these different items in a visually interesting way, and to actually do it! I get many ideas, but only those I act upon become photos. Good luck with your own photo play.
Jeff LukeComment