Nature Splash Photography Series

Mother Nature can be all-mighty. To illustrate this in a unique way, I created this nature-inspired splash photography series with the help of FusionTLC’s Raven and a PocketWizard.


The Raven and a PocketWizard FlexTT5 transceiver were sent to me for the purpose of reviewing the Raven, however this post is NOT sponsored by FusionTLC nor PocketWizard. I was not required to write this blog as part of the review process, however, this post contains an affiliate link at the end. By clicking this link and making a purchase, I will get a small percentage back—but this does not affect the selling price what-so-ever. Canadian residents please be aware that additional duties and fees may be required upon delivery.

Have you ever seen those product photographs where the item featured is dropped in water, surrounding itself with splashes? I’ve been intrigued by this type of photography for the longest time but was never able to fully mimic it until now. To accomplish this, I needed the use of a few flashes. And while I had in my possession a few flashes, they weren’t all made by the same manufacturer, which led to the problem of incompatibility of the triggering system. My Nikon speedlight only talked to another Nikon speedlight, and my Profoto lights only talked to the Profoto Air.

It wasn’t until FusionTLC contacted me to see if I would be interested in trying out their new flash trigger, Raven. One of its many selling features was that it was capable of talking to several different flash manufacturers. I was sold once I knew that was possible!

The Raven

The Raven is made by a company called FusionTLC, which is a sister company to PocketWizard who makes the popular radio flash triggers. Some of the more notable features of this flash trigger are:

  • Capable of talking to up to two different flash manufacturers at the same time*
  • Touch screen and rotary dial for easy access to features
  • SyncView allows you to fine tune the timing of your flash with respect to the shutter opening
  • Can trigger your camera with a second Raven
  • Has multiple triggering devices: Sound, Radio, and Light**
  • Channel noise finder

*To talk to a Nikon speedlight, the speedlight must be connected to a PocketWizard receiver.
**The light trigger had yet to be implemented at the time of this posting.

FusionTLC’s Raven flash trigger sitting on top of my Nikon Z 7ii.

The Concept

As a landscape and nature photographer I always try and incorporate a natural twist to my photographs whenever possible. Typically these splash photographs contain heavier objects dropped into water to make the required splashes. My idea was to illustrate the power of Mother Nature by showing nature’s lightest objects—feathers and leaves—creating a large splash when dropped into water. The juxtaposition of these contrasting elements is what I hope makes this a unique series.

The How

So how does one make a splash when something so light is dropped into water? You make it heavy of course! In order to do this, I took the feather or leaf and glued a heavy rock behind it, making sure that it was not visible from the other side.

Some of Mother Nature’s lightest elements

Rocks glued behind the leaves and feathers

This added weight was enough to create a splash in a tank of water.

The Execution

I held the object in one hand while leaving my other hand free to press the shutter button at the right moment, capturing the object halfway through the water line. Needless to say this took many tries to get it at the exact time I wanted it, not to mention the look of the splash I was hoping for.

The camera is about 1.5 feet away from the water tank, which is about 2 feet away from the back light. The two side flashes are used to light up the subject as it falls from above the tank.

The Gear

I had my Nikon Z 7ii with a Z MC 105mm f/2.8 S lens on my Gitzo tripod about two feet away from the aquarium. Another two feet away from the aquarium I had my Profoto B1x with a 3′ octabox acting as the white backdrop. On one side of the aquarium, I had my Nikon SB 900 speedlight, and on the other side I had a Profoto A1 light. All three were controlled and triggered with the Raven, sitting on top of my Z 7ii.

The touch screen and rotary dial of the Raven allowed me to change the settings quickly as needed for each zone I created. And that’s really all it took to create this series.

The End Result

The Final Collage

The Edit

While trying to create the most epic splashes I soon realized that it was more difficult than I had anticipated it to be. Whether it was the leaf or feather not facing the right direction, or the splash getting in the way of the leaf, or the splash not being big enough, there were countless problems I encountered. I was very happy with the first image though, where that large splash was all naturally done.

A splash taken from this drop was superimposed on to one of the other leaves.

So rather than splash all day long for the rest of the shots, I succumbed to the powers of Photoshop where I superimposed splashes from other tries and edited away unwanted bubbles in the final edit.

All this was done while still maintaining the overall concept of the series: depicting the sheer strength of Mother Nature.

Nature Splash Photography Series

Have you tried splash photography before? Let me know what you think about my nature-inspired splash photography series in the comments below!

To learn more about FusionTLC’s Raven or to get yours, head over here using my affiliate link!

Or, simply use my name, TAKU, as the coupon code upon checkout!

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  1. Pingback: Nature-Inspired Water Balloon Series – Taku Kumabe Photography and Design

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