Saturday, March 27, 2010

My Artsy Side - Water Drops

The weather was cold and damp Friday so I decided to take advantage of my time indoors and try something I had seen from other photographers.   Photographing water drops can create some very cool abstract kind of pictures, which is a departure from my normal landscape photography.

My set up included a paint pan in the kitchen sink and some brightly colored objects on the other side of the pan.  The objective is to get these objects refracted in the water drops.   I found some red, blue and green Tupperware lids to use as my props.  I set my camera up on a tripod so that it was just above the surface of the water in the pan.   I manually focused at the point where the drops hit the water.  The trick is to place an ink pen in the water so the drops hit it and then focus on the pen.  I set up an external flash off to the side pointed at the Tupperware and had my popup flash on as well.  I turned the flash power down to make the flash time as short as possible to freeze the drops.  The camera was set to manual mode, 1/250 sec, f/7.1 and I manipulated the ISO to get the exposure I wanted.  I had to crank the ISO up higher than I would have liked and as a result I got a lot of digital noise (grainy) in these shots.

When I looked at my first shots I noticed you can see the rust spots on the pan.  I then tried aluminum foil on the bottom of the pan, but that was too reflective.   I found colored printer paper worked best and orange paper gave the most dramatic images.

In the final photo I used white paper and then chaned the white balance in Lightroom to give it a blue tint.

You might wonder how I clicked the shutter at just the right moment to capture these.  The trick is to take several hundred and throw out 95% of them.   Random chance works best in this situation. 

Remember, you can click on these pictures to zoom in. 
There are a few more photos at

This was fun to do and I may try again when the weather is cold and damp.  I hope you enjoy these.