Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What to do on my day off? Water drop shots!

There's not much going on photographically outdoors right now.   It's rainy, overcast, and there is very little color.   Not enough to convince me to go out shooting in the rain.   Instead, I decided to make the best of an indoor day and try my hand at taking pictures of falling water drops.

I used common household items to build my "set".  A step ladder, clean oil pan, zip lock bag, and some colorful things for a back ground. 

I filled the bag with water and hung it from the top of the ladder over the oil pan full of water.  I attached my off camera flash to the side of the ladder and positioned a reflector on the opposite side.   Then it was a matter of poking a small hole in the bag and getting to work. 

I tried a variety of back drops.  The more colorful and bright the better the results.   You see in the photo on the right that  I was using one of June's old clown costumes and a red stadium chair.

The hardest thing is to focus in the right spot.  I held a pencil so the point was right where the  drops hit the surface of the water and manually focused on the pencil.

I found the following gave me the best results:
  • Camera in manual mode, lens in manual focus
  • 1/250 of a second (max sync speed)
  • f/7.1 - f/22 depending on how much I wanted to blur the background.
  • ISO appropriate to get a good exposure using these settings, usually 200 - 400.
  • flash output set to 1/10.  This results in a faster flash.
Then I just started firing away as fast as the flash would recycle.  There's no timing these shots so it's all chance.  I took 192 shots and quickly deleted 147.  Out of the 45 remaining I picked 26 to work on. I then narrowed them down to 14 that were worth sharing.  All 14 are available on my website.

Here's a few of those 14.

Notice the red from the stadium chair in these shots.

Look closely and you will see the clown suit in the water drops.  You can click on any photo to get a larger view.

Most of my shots were looking across the water and slightly down.   I also shot looking down at the surface of the water.   These came out almost black and white so I went ahead a converted them to true black and white.

I hope you like these.  They were fun to do.   Best of all, I didn't have any water disasters and only had to wipe up a little water off the kitchen floor.

1 comment:

  1. These are amazing Richard..thanks for sharing your technique !!