Apple bobbing is an annual autumn event at my house. I invite some friends over, I mean unsuspecting models, so they can plunge their faces into the water and reach helplessly for a red orb with their teeth. I just had to see what was happening inside that bucket!
The only way I was going to get inside this pail is to become the size of an apple, or my camera is. Because I cancelled my photography insurance policy and the gaskets on my camera are not waterproof, I needed a different approach. Instead I built a custom glass aquarium measuring 30”x30”x16” tall.
Supporting the tank above the ground, I use concrete blocks at each corner. My camera is placed underneath the tank and tight up against the glass to avoid any reflections. Black cloth is spread out on the patio deck to stop any reflections of the deck into the tank too.
I have one strobe for side lighting – to add shape and contours to the apples, and I have another strobe high above the tank to achieve some rim lighting of the snorkelers and add specular rays. All these strobes are set off by a fill light strobe pointing straight up into the tank.
The biggest challenge is to convince folks not to breathe out while under the water – the millions of backlit bubbles are a nightmare to contend with.
Every year the kids always have a great time laying under the aquarium watching friends and family squirrel they faces into unforgiving knots.