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Making a Splash in Toy Photography


As a toy photographer I am constantly experimenting with new techniques and effects — primarily practical effects, but I won’t hesitate to dive into some digital effects if it helps me tell a story and create the strongest image possible. Some of my more popular images include real liquid splashes, so I thought I’d share some of those images here.

I’ve also included behind the scenes photos showing my setups and how I created the splashes. But spoiler alert: every splash featured here was created by hitting the water with a blast of compressed air.

Although water splashes tend to be hard to control and predict, with practice I’ve learned that splashes can be manipulated and shaped to fit a specific situation or story. Because of a splash’s visual appeal, and how its presence can add movement to an image, I often think of splashes as additional characters in my photos.

Splashes have made their way into quite a few of my images, as well as into campaigns I’ve created for Mattel, Hot Wheels, Warner Bros, Virgin Media UK, and others.

About the author: Mitchel Wu is a professional toy photographer based in Los Angeles. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of his work on his Instagram, Facebook, and website.