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Tips to Create Fabulous Shots of Spinning Rainbow

Tips to Create Fabulous Shots of Spinning Rainbow

As a photographer, we always want to create something extraordinary, something that we don’t see everywhere, something that stands us apart from the rest. But the problem is, sometimes we don’t know what to create and sometimes we know what to create, but don’t know how to do so. Well, today is a lucky day for you because you are going to learn how you can create fabulous spinning rainbow pictures using MIOPS Smart which is the best sound trigger for high-speed photography.

Tips to Create Fabulous Shots of Spinning Rainbow
© Ramakant Sharda –

What you need:

Okay, let’s talk about the requirements for this shoot. Let me warn you first that this shoot required some technical know-how and you are going to create a lot of mess which you need to clean up, but as the old saying goes “No pain, no gain”.

An Electrical Motor:

First we need an electric motor with a long shaft, this motor should have high RPM (revolutions per minutes) otherwise colors won’t spin properly. Once you have the motor, you need to attach a cylindrical piece of wood at the front of the shaft. You may need the help of a professional to do so. Size of the wood should be two inches long and two inches radius. Paint this wooden ring with black color so it won’t show in the final picture.
An Electrical Motor:

Water Colors:

You are creating a spinning rainbow, so of course you need colors. We are going to use watercolors here, make sure you have lots of shades so you can experiment with different shades and create lots of unique masterpieces.

A Spare Room:

Next requirement is a spare room which can be darkened, where you can do experiments for a few days and create a lot of mess.



Take impossible photos by turning your camera into a high-speed capture device!


Camera and Lens:

Any camera with manual control will work here and for the lens, it’s preferable to use a longer lens so your camera has some distance from spinning colors and remain safe. Any focal length above 100 mm is just fine.


You need at least two flashes. If one of your flashes has slave mode, it’s fine otherwise you need to make some arrangement to fire both flashes together.

MIOPS Smart:

We are going to use the sound trigger mode of MIOPS Smart to fire flashes at the perfect moment.

You need some plastic sheets to cover the walls and floor of the room, and some small spoons to put colors on the shaft. You also need a black paper sheet to place as background and a tripod for the camera.


Okay, at this point you have everything ready, let create the setup. First, you need to fix your motor on something, it should be around three feet from the ground so you can work without getting tired. Again you may need the help of a professional to fix the motor.

An easy way to do it to get it fixed on a piece of board by a professional and place on a table. Please make sure you are using proper safety measures while creating setup and also during the shoot.

Once your motor is installed, place a black paper sheet between the motor and the wooden ring, it’ll serve as a backdrop to get a pure black background. Place two flashes at both sides around 70-80 degree angle, don’t forget to cover flashes with a plastic sheet. Now place the camera on a tripod, make sure that camera height is same as the shaft and it’s perfectly aligned with it. Once your setup is ready, it should look like the following image.



Warning: Remember to cover the walls and floor with plastic sheets or this may be your last shot in that room ;)


Set the camera on Bulb Mode with ISO 100. We don’t need a much deeper depth of field so f/8 or f/11 aperture is enough. If you have a shutter release cable, it would be useful. Place your finger or some object on the wooden ring and focus manually and leave the camera on manual focus mode.

Set both flashes to 1/64 power, we are going to fire one flash using MIOPS Smart and other will fire automatically on slave mode. Take a test shot and if the light is over or under, change the power accordingly or move flashes. In high-speed photography, we always use flashes with the lowest power. So make sure you don’t go above 1/32 power.

Now place MIOPS Smart near the motor and select sound mode. Set Sensitivity to 55, Delay to 90ms. Lock should be ON so it fires the flash only once. These setting are not typical, use it as your starting point and change as per your requirement. Like if your motor is quiet, you need to increase sensitivity. You may also need to adjust the delay according to your setup.


At this moment everything is ready and here comes the fun part. Darken the room and allow a little light so you can see the setup. It’s good to switch off the flashes and click a picture with 1/2 seconds exposure. If it’s completely dark you are good to go otherwise lower the ambient light or set the aperture to f/16 and adjust flashes accordingly.

Now your job is to put colors on the wooden ring, open camera shutter and start the motor. As soon as the motor start, colors will be thrown out and MIOPS Smart will trigger the flash. You need to close the shutter just after flashes are fired.


Shots of Spinning Rainbow
© Ramakant Sharda –

Well, it’s time to use your imagination and play with different colors. I suggest you start with a single color, then use two colors and use multiple colors in last. Also, make tiny changes in delay and change the density of colors to get different shapes.

So let’s start and don’t forget to share your pictures here.

Shots of Spinning Rainbow
© Ramakant Sharda –

Shots of Spinning Rainbow
© Ramakant Sharda –

Related Article: How to Shoot Stunning Dancing Colors

Related Article: High Speed Photography Explore Site

 About the Author

Ramakant Sharda is an author, iOS App publisher, passionate photographer and a MIOPS Ambassador based in the beautiful “Pink City” of India, known as Jaipur. His work has been published in various magazines, newspapers, and blogs. He has published three Coffee Table Books, he writes about photography and also teaches photography in his workshops. Check out his website to see the masterpieces created by him or download his free app for iPhone and iPad “30 Days to an Ace Photographer“.

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