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Thread: Tip for doing droplet photography

  1. #1

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    Tip for doing droplet photography

    I discovered something this afternoon in playing with droplet shots. I've been bothered lately that I haven't been getting the nice pedestal under the ball in the backsplash. It turns out that the problem was that I was dropping from too high.

    I raised the drop point up to about 30 in (75 cm), and it got even worse. For example:

    Tip for doing droplet photography

    So I lowered it to about 10 in (25 cm), and I got back to the elegant splash I like:

    Tip for doing droplet photography

    I didn't do any PP on the images: I just wanted to give people a heads-up, so they don't waste time, especially since I had described my setup before.

    My guess is that when it drops from higher, there's enough energy to fill the pedestal with water, but from lower, the pedestal is finer. I don't know if the best height is different for different depth of tray: I'm using a paint tray.

    Cheers,
    Rick

  2. #2

    Re: Tip for doing droplet photography

    Pedestals, drop-points, umbrellas, drop-rates, back-splashes, starting to sound like a science, Rick! I like the dolphin (there's another term) and ball in shot #2. I can avoid it no longer, I have to have a go at this.

  3. #3

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    Re: Tip for doing droplet photography

    One more suggestion: don't use wine! Not because it's especially expensive (it isn't). It foams and bubbles, as you can see in these shots. I'm going to get some food coloring, and make some red-colored water. I don't see any difference in the splash behavior, and it creates extra problems with the bubbles and foam. You get bubbles on the surface, and come back the next morning and they're still there.

    It's gotten worse as it's been evaporating: I'm sure the alcohol evaporates more than the botanical components that came from the grapes before fermentation. What's left foams even more. I thought about adding pure alcohol, but I think it will be easier just to replace it with colored water.

    Cheers,
    Rick

  4. #4
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Tip for doing droplet photography

    I'm sure that second one is really a sea lion balancing a ball on its nose

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    Re: Tip for doing droplet photography

    Another good way to cheat is to use a clear bowl with a coloured towel underneath. These aren't as good but were taken as I was practising sharpening techniques advised by our Colin. :-))

    Tip for doing droplet photography

    Tip for doing droplet photography

  6. #6

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    Re: Tip for doing droplet photography

    Fantastic shots, Mark. And the sharpening looks very crisp.

    I have a bowl I want to use, to make a larger scene (water into a bowl, instead of close-up). So that's another good thing to try.

    Cheers!
    Rick

  7. #7
    New Member Skhilled's Avatar
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    Re: Tip for doing droplet photography

    Sorry, to interrupt...can someone tell me what I would need to do to take photos like this? I've always been interested in these type of photos.

    I use a Canon PowerShot SX130 IS. I assume that I would need to either take photos in burst mode and/or make adjustments to the ISO and shutter settings...or is there already a tutorial on this?

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Tip for doing droplet photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Skhilled View Post
    Sorry, to interrupt...can someone tell me what I would need to do to take photos like this? I've always been interested in these type of photos.
    Steve

    There have been quite a few threads on the subject. Have a read of this, this, this, and Post 21 in this thread.

  9. #9
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    Re: Tip for doing droplet photography

    The threads Donald pointed at are worth reading, though the drop kit I mentioned in a thread would absolutely not be necessary for a beginner. If you search youtube you'll find a lot of tutorials of it. The best thing to do is watch some of these videos, read some post mentioned above and just start experimenting. You'll learn the most of finding out yourself how it's done, because you gain knowledge of 'how the process works'.

    some tips:
    - watch time warps eppisode about this. That will give you a inside view in this magnificent world.
    -An extrenal flash is recommended (internal flash can be used, like I did before though it's not the best way to go). Flash form other angles and places than the camera is pointing.
    -Experiment with drop height and drop speed.
    -Experiment with different bowls and backgrounds.
    -Experiment with the flash's position and angle on the water.

    If you want some more advanced techniques and shots:
    - Use only the flash instead of the shutter for exposure to freeze the drop.
    - Experiment with depth of your bowl (in which you the droplets fall)
    - Go for some collision shots
    - Use food dye and coloured light for all kinds of colours in your sculptures.

    and if you want to go pro:
    - Buy the drop kit i mentioend.

    Some inspiration:
    Martin Waugh's Liquid Sculptures
    Corrie White's Liquid Drop Art

    Like a couple of forum members I did some droplet studies in the past, so if you have some more questions I'm willing to answer them .
    Last edited by McQ; 18th October 2010 at 04:27 PM.

  10. #10
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Tip for doing droplet photography

    Definition: "Collision" shots being when there is 'drip stream' and drop 1 hits and bounces up just as drop 2 in the stream gets just above the surface and they collide, smashing each other to pieces. Hehehe!

  11. #11
    New Member Skhilled's Avatar
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    Re: Tip for doing droplet photography

    @Donald - I've already read the first 2 links yesterday but the last 2 were enlightening. Thanks. Looks like I'll need more equipment.

    @JK6065 - I could smack myself for not thinking of YouTube sooner! LOL I use it for other things but have spent the last week reading the topics here that I didn't even think of it. Gavin has some interesting videos. I'll need to spend more time checking them out.

    I've already thought of some of the experiments you've mentioned but will definitely try some of the other tips. Thanks.

  12. #12
    JK6065's Avatar
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    Re: Tip for doing droplet photography

    You're welcome.
    About the equipment: you certainly don't really need fancy equipment (it can be helpful but it isn't strictly necessary). Your current kit looks fine to me (a checked it form your EXIF). And most of the things you see on youtube can all be find in or around your house.
    And certainly don't forget to show your results here.
    Last edited by JK6065; 16th October 2010 at 04:25 PM.

  13. #13
    New Member Skhilled's Avatar
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    Re: Tip for doing droplet photography

    OK, I'll have to set aside some time on a weekend to do this. Meanwhile, I'll enlist my kids to help with the supplies.

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