After more than a decade, Schafrick's gamble has paid off big; he now has studios in Toronto, New York City and Dusseldorf. While he's smoothed out some of his initial maverick edge, the key to his craft remains the same simple process of trial and error. "You have to experiment with the liquid both on and off the set," Schafrick says. "Once you do it a few hundred times, you sort of start getting a knack for it—how hard to throw it, how much pressure, the different sorts of devices that can be used to tame it. But there's always an element of surprise and spontaneity that happens in the shoot."
His recent series Going Green was born from precisely one of those happenstances. It began when international products manufacturer Cargill commissioned Schafrick to recreate its logo, a green leaf, in a paint splash (below). "It took us three days," he says, "and we shot over 1,200 frames until we got that single shot. A few weeks later, I went back to the footage to delete the RAW files, but I couldn't bring myself to get rid of them. I was struck by these spectacular visuals that made you appreciate all that liquid can do as it's moving in the air. So the series is really just outtakes from a commercial shoot." AP