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The Art Of Sculpting Splashes by Alex Koloskov

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Splash photography is a fascinating and very unusual genre. Chances are that you never really pick it up because there is so much expert knowledge involved with making splashes look stunning in a photo. Basically, you capture liquids in mid air by using a fast shutter speed and strobes or speedlights. But that’s not even scratching the surface.

The shapes formed by liquids thrown into the air can be really beautiful and such liquid sculptures, frozen in time create stunning images. With the right post-processing techniques and a bit of creativity, you can shape your splash photos into liquid representations of objects or animals, which add to the wow factor.

However, creating such images is a technical challenge, and without expert knowledge like that presented in this course it will take you ages to get it right. This course was created by one of the masters of this genre: Alex Koloskov. He shows you everything you need to know to create stunning splash photos: The gear, the setup, how to protect your gear from the liquids, which liquids work best, how to set the liquids in motion to get great images, how to post-process the images and much more.

Quick Facts

TypeLengthSkill levelRetail Price
Online video workshop7h videoAdvanced$250

The Instructor

Alex KoloskovAlex Koloskov is a commercial photographer who is best know for his very advanced splash photography. Alex is running a website called photigy.com where he offers different high-end courses for professional studio photographers.

Detailed Review

Alex starts out by talking about the gear you need, the camera equipment and about the best studio lights for splash photography. Then he shows you how to set up the studio for photographing splashes. Remember that these are liquids. So proper protection of your gear is vital.

You may think that splash photography is about throwing colored water into the air and getting the timing right. But that’s far from the truth. Actually, there is a whole science revolving around which liquids work best, and there are some quite exotic ones. Alex will teach you everything about this topic to save you from wasting weeks of experimentation and getting wet. He’s done all the research and has vast experience that he shares with you here. Hint: It can be quite a mess – but lots of fun. 😉

The splash action

In the first action-packed part, Alex shows you how to create relatively small splashes with different liquids to show you how the different viscosities affect the appearance of the splash. Next he creates bigger and more colorful splashes, and he uses flowers soaked in paint to create nice effects by shaking or spinning the flower. It’s actually fun to see how Alex gets dirtier and dirtier as time progresses.

Splashes and products

In the next part, you will learn how to shoot splashes and products (e.g. a nail polish bottle) separately to then compose them in post-production into a final shot. You see one of the end results at the top of this post. This part is actually a pretty good tutorial on product photography too. You will learn how to create clean and stunning product shots. Alex shows you different ways of lighting your product to make the light smooth, professional and appealing.

Post-production

The final part of the workshop is all about compositing and post-processing the splash and product photos. You will see the entire workflow, and you will be able to pick up tricks like matching the color of a splash with the color of a product. Alex and his retoucher (who happens to be his wife) show you how to compose different splash images into one image and how to create arbitrary shapes from these splash elements by using blending techniques and Photoshop tools like the warp tool, the liquify filter and puppet warp. This enables you to set your creativity free and create almost any shape from your splash images.

Course environment

This is an online course. You will have to sign up at the course website and apply the 100% 5DayDeal coupon code upon checkout. The course itself is embedded in a learning environment that lets you control your progress, score points and get certificates. There are assignments that you can complete to get Alex’ personal feedback, which is very cool indeed. There is also a forum where you can discuss with fellow students (currently over 600). Overall, this looks like a fun environment that can really help you learn quickly. But note that you don’t have to take part in all of this. If you simply want to watch the videos without any additional interaction, you can do so.

Other Things You’ll Learn

This is a full package of shooting lessons, technical guidance and post-production training. You will pick up lots of useful stuff along the way.

Teaching Style

Alex has an unconventional style of teaching. His Russian accent, and his tendency to run off camera may be irritating to you at first if you only know those polished, glossy tutorials. But soon you get to realize (and appreciate) that he does all of this live. When he goes through trial and error, you get too learn more than from any rehearsed-to-death tutorial.

Also note that Alex is going to get dirty… really dirty… all in the name of photography and teaching. 😉

Summary and Verdict

It’s quite simple: If you want to get your feet wet in splash photography (pun intended) there is no way around Alex and this course. Chances are that you would never have set a single foot into this unusual genre. $250 retail price sets a high barrier. But if you get the 5DayDeal bundle, you save almost 50% on this course alone, and you get $3,000+ worth of additional resources. So this may be your unique chance to try your hand at splash photography.

ProsCons
  • This is the online resource in Splash photography. There’s no way around it.
  • You get the full package of in-depth splash photography training, product photography (combined with splashes), and retouching tutorials.
  • This course was partly recorded at an actual live workshop. Sometimes the video and the audio is a bit rough around the edges. This does not affect the quality of the content itself or your ability to learn. But it is a bit unconventional when you see Alex run off set and talk to the assistant while the camera is running. Don’t worry! He’s always coming back. 😉

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