Water drop photography is hard...

Discussion in 'Photo Assignments & Technical Challenges' started by wyogirl, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. wyogirl

    wyogirl Oh crop!

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    .... Especially after a dose of Lortab while recovering from a tonsillectomy. I watched about 10 YouTube videos but I didn't get any keepers last night before the narcotic kicked in. I might try again tonight. It's part of my Project 52. Any tips are welcomed.


     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    A lot of waterdrop photography is done with laser trips or audio trips (normally laser). With a fixed drop distance from laser to water surface its then a case of adjusting the trip system so that the time delay between the laser being tripped and the camera/flash firing gives the desired effect (plus a bit of luck).

    If you're doing it without then you will have a much harder time.


    Show a few of the failures though; the more we know the better as it could be other areas like focusing or lighting where you're having the greater problems. Details of how you too the shot and the setup also help a lot
     
  3. wyogirl

    wyogirl Oh crop!

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    I'll process a few tonight. Another thing making it hard is that I don't have a macro lens. I'm using the 70-200 2.8 at F16. One off camera flash and one colored reflector. So far, it's timing that is killing me, but focus is a close second.
     
  4. FotosbyMike

    FotosbyMike No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Like Overred stated without a trigger trap of some sort it is going to be a long process with lots of misses and very few keepers but it is possible.

    I would make or rig up something so the drops always falls from the same height and place everytime. This will help with timing and focus. Keep shooting!
     
  5. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Didn't @JustJazzie write up something on water drops??? She got some great results on her experiments with this if I'm remembering correctly...
     
  6. JustJazzie

    JustJazzie Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Thanks for thinking of me!

    Here was the write up I did for the "article" project we were all working on.

    The Beginning Wonders of Photographing Water Drops | Photography Forum

    Maybe it will help you @wyogirl !

    Ps. Please excuse the typos, I was in the middle of editing when my computer crashed and all I had was the .pdf I had sent out for proofreading.
     
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  7. JustJazzie

    JustJazzie Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I didn't use macro lens for most of my shots. In fact, I finally got a macro lens and I think I've only done one or two water drop shoots since. Lol! I think your 70-200 with some cropping will do fine, and I feel the 18-200 (1:4 ratio, but I had cropping options with 24mpx.) actually helped me in terms of DOF. I had a harder time once I switched to a macro lol!

    I'll be honest here and mention I spray and pray since I lack a timer. Easier with the 11fps on the Sony, but doable with the 5.5 on the Nikon.
     
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  8. wyogirl

    wyogirl Oh crop!

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  9. dools

    dools TPF Noob!

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    Try googling or you tube Evan Sharboneau for stuff like that, nice shot
     
  10. Stradawhovious

    Stradawhovious Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Timing is everything. Like some of the other folks here said, if you're serious about it, look into a laser trigger. If not, you just need to work on your timing to get a good shot.

    As you've probably already discovered, when you press the shutter button on your rig an awful lot of things happen, and not all at once. The mirror has to flip up out of the way and only then will the shutter actuate. This makes for a noticeable delay when the picture is taken. When I was doing my water drop photos, I would look for a visual clue as to when to fire the camera, and even then it would take 30 - 40 snaps to get a keeper.

    When you see all of those jaw-droppingly beautiful water drop photos on the internetz, there are 2 ways they were achieved... through a large investment in hardware, or blind, stupid luck. Most of those folks have invested in laser triggers and drop timers so the water is released at exact intervals, and a flash is fired at the correct moment. Most of those folks also employ the mentality of high speed photography, and have exceedingly long shutter times relying on the speedlight (or strobe) alone for the exposure.

    Don't get frustrated and keep at it. You will eventually get some awesome pictures.

    If I may make a suggestion though... first off, get a larger vessel. A drinking glass is handy, but not great for this. A large tupperware or fishtank would be an awesome place to start. Next, find a way to control the height of your droplet source. It will make timing much easier, simply because gravity is a constant.

    here's how I set up mine. I grabbed a microphone stand with a boom arm (well, not a boom arm... I taped a broom handle to the mic clip) and taped a ziplock baggie full of water to the end of it over my vessel of water. After poking a small hole in the side of the bag to produce a steady slow, stream of drops dripping off the corner of the bag I was then able to adjust the height of the bag, and therefore the amount of time it took for the drop to hit the water. It got to the point where if I pressed the shutter button just as the drop left the hanging bag, by the time it got to the water below the shutter would be open.

    Precise, huh?

    At any rate, I learned a whole bunch about a lot of things doing water droplets, so I recommend you keep going until you get your desired result.

    This was my favorite.
    water.jpg

    And yes, I realize this thread is two months old. Didn't stop me from responding to it. ;)
     
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  11. Solarflare

    Solarflare No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Really loved this example on deviantart: 53
     
  12. Stradawhovious

    Stradawhovious Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yep. Laser triggers, drop timers, speedlights, gels and a metric crap tonne of practice, that shot can be yours as well!
     

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