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Water Droplet Photography

Steve56

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Hello all,

I'm attempting to take Water Droplet's after acquiring a 100mm macro lens. I'm trying to mimic some set-ups that I have seen on the internet. Anyway, I'm having a lot of trouble trying to focus on the water droplets themselves. Does anyone have any advice? I understand this is one of the hardest photographs to shoot.

Here is the equipment I'm using :

Canon 1000D
Canon 100mm Macro
Speedlite YN460-II Flash
Pipette (for water drops)

Please see photo's below for my setup :

P3060310-2.jpg


P3060309-2.jpg


P3060307-2.jpg


P3060308.jpg
 
Last edited:
You need to fix your images. Cant wait to see results!
 
I had trouble getting focus on my first try (see my post a ways down). I think with the macro using a large.DOF is important. I used an aperture of f/3.5 which was probably too large. However, from your setup, I think you're missing a crucial part. The drops have to land precisely at the same place each time. Using the pipette by hand probably won't allow that, unless you can get it to drip steadily. I think this was the other problem with my photos. The hole I poked in the ziploc bag want positioned appropriately to give a consistent positioning.

Keep at it!
 
I had trouble getting focus on my first try (see my post a ways down). I think with the macro using a large.DOF is important. I used an aperture of f/3.5 which was probably too large. However, from your setup, I think you're missing a crucial part. The drops have to land precisely at the same place each time. Using the pipette by hand probably won't allow that, unless you can get it to drip steadily. I think this was the other problem with my photos. The hole I poked in the ziploc bag want positioned appropriately to give a consistent positioning.

Keep at it!

I figured a pipette would be better as I don't have a self-release timer or anything like that. So had I used a hole in a bag I would have to rely on the self-timer from my camera. Needless to say, it didn't always catch the droplet.

I've used a shutter speed of 1/160 and an aperture of 2.8 which isn't enough to capture the drops.
 
It might be worthwhile to invest in a wireless remote. They're really very cheap. The pipette can work if you manage to get the timing down, but only if you can get the spot to land in the exact same spot each time...
 
Use a pencil in the water where your drops hit and focus on that. Set it to manual so it doesn't AF anymore and fire away.
 
Steve56 said:
I figured a pipette would be better as I don't have a self-release timer or anything like that. So had I used a hole in a bag I would have to rely on the self-timer from my camera. Needless to say, it didn't always catch the droplet.

I've used a shutter speed of 1/160 and an aperture of 2.8 which isn't enough to capture the drops.

Try something like f/8-f/10 (maybe higher) and a shutter speed of 1/200. Can you get your flash off camera? I usually put the flash on the table - to the side of the bowl and aim it directly at the background. Then I use my finger or a pencil to manually focus on (drops should be hitting finger/pencil). I usually use a water bottle with a hole in it - not the best but it works. I don't use the self-timer - I just keep snapping away as the water drips. Not every shot will be a keeper....I got a lot of great shots my first try but I took a lot of pictures.
 
Steve56 said:
I figured a pipette would be better as I don't have a self-release timer or anything like that. So had I used a hole in a bag I would have to rely on the self-timer from my camera. Needless to say, it didn't always catch the droplet.

I've used a shutter speed of 1/160 and an aperture of 2.8 which isn't enough to capture the drops.

Try something like f/8-f/10 (maybe higher) and a shutter speed of 1/200. Can you get your flash off camera? I usually put the flash on the table - to the side of the bowl and aim it directly at the background. Then I use my finger or a pencil to manually focus on (drops should be hitting finger/pencil). I usually use a water bottle with a hole in it - not the best but it works. I don't use the self-timer - I just keep snapping away as the water drips. Not every shot will be a keeper....I got a lot of great shots my first try but I took a lot of pictures.

Your avatar shot looks great
 
I had trouble getting focus on my first try (see my post a ways down). I think with the macro using a large.DOF is important. I used an aperture of f/3.5 which was probably too large. However, from your setup, I think you're missing a crucial part. The drops have to land precisely at the same place each time. Using the pipette by hand probably won't allow that, unless you can get it to drip steadily. I think this was the other problem with my photos. The hole I poked in the ziploc bag want positioned appropriately to give a consistent positioning.



Keep at it!

I figured a pipette would be better as I don't have a self-release timer or anything like that. So had I used a hole in a bag I would have to rely on the self-timer from my camera. Needless to say, it didn't always catch the droplet.

I've used a shutter speed of 1/160 and an aperture of 2.8 which isn't enough to capture the drops.

You could use a 10 second shutter speed(if there is zero ambient) and still freeze the drops, it's about your flashguns speed not your shutterpeed.

Can you get your flash off camera?
 
A couple of setup shots I've taken for Water Drop shots.......


SetupShots-WaterDrops.jpg


I used the toothbrush (destined for replacement) to set a focus point in the bowl where a gentle squeeze of the water bottle would drop the water.



Later on I got some softboxes.

989712723_Zi2uP-XL.jpg



.
 
Unfortunately I can't get the flash off the camera. I don't have the wireless remote to set off the flash.

The avatar isn't a shot but a Photoshop creation by a friend. Thanks all the same though.

I'll post the results of my attempts soon. Thanks for the advice people.
 
Unfortunately I can't get the flash off the camera. I don't have the wireless remote to set off the flash.
Yet.

Sort yourself out. Let that (off camera flash) be on your front burner for the next reason to spend money on this obsession.... errr, I mean hobby. :biggrin:
 
For focusing I use a ruler laid across my pan of water. This way I can let the water drip onto the ruler so I know where the drop will be and then after a couple test shots with the ruler in place I can see what the DOF will be. This helped me quite a bit to get a good DOF.

$crown%u00252520color%2520balloons.jpg
 
Here's my attempts. I will warn you,they are terrible. Comments/Suggestions welcome

IMG_2082.jpg


IMG_2080.jpg


IMG_2077.jpg


IMG_2076.jpg
 
Are you using auto focus or manual focus? It looks like your back rim is the focus point for the camera.
 

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