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Patterned Water Drop Shots

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  • Patterned Water Drop Shots

    I had some free time this weekend, and I decided to try out a technique I've always wanted to try but never had the time. Freezing water drops in mid-air. Here was one of my favorite results..

    Drop!

    You can check out the rest of the series here in this set.

    Here's what I used to create this shot:

    -Canon Powershot G9 (Don't underestimate the compact!)
    -External Speedlite Flash*
    -Bowl (Preferably with a nice pattern or colors)
    -Water (I know, obvious eh?)
    -Dropper
    -Tripod
    -Ruler
    -LOTS of patience!

    *The external flash is not necessary, as I just used my camera's flash. I am waiting for my Canon 430x Speedlite flash to come in, so I obviously couldn't use it. The images would come out much nicer, I'm sure, if one is used.

    The camera settings I chose..

    Shutter Speed: 1/320
    Aperture: f/4
    Focal Length: 22mm
    ISO: 200

    You obviously need a fast shutter speed to capture the water, so a lot of light is necessary. I took these shots in the morning when sunlight was streaming through the windows, but I positioned the bowl so there were no reflections on the water.

    I recommend using a colorful or patterned bowl because whatever is in or behind the bowl will be reflected within the water drops, so it's good to make it interesting.

    I set up the tripod only slightly elevated above the surface of the bowl. Filled it with water, and got the camera ready. I switched the camera to manual focus. I stuck the ruler in the bowl about where I'd be dropping the water drops and focused the camera on it, locking the focus in place. Now, I was ready.

    I began dropping the water using the dropper as close to the place where I'd stuck the ruler as I could get it. Now's the hardest part, timing. It's takes lots of practice and MANY trials, so don't forget your patience for this. You will eventually get the hang of when to press the shutter in relation to dropping the water, and I'm sure you'll come out with some great shots

    Most of all, experiment! Try different shutter release timings and different angles. Good luck to you!
    "The best photos have yet to be taken."
    My flickr
    Okay to re-edit and re-post my shots on DPS.

  • #2
    nice tutorial, nick.....thanks for taking the time to put it together for us.....i'm going to have to give this a try very soon....

    much appreciated...

    peeper
    canon rebel xt, sigma 28-70mm

    peeperita's flickriver

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    • #3
      Excellent shot and very helpful guidance! Thanks for sharing your work with us.
      Sincerely,
      Lee -clockdoc-

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      • #4
        you did a great job!
        www.alockintime.com



        Facebook

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        • #5
          Great photo.....nice tutorial..... I just want to do it myself..... =)
          Thanks for sharing it!
          Free time and boring sometimes can do amazing things...isn't?
          Flickr
          NIKON D90
          [AF-S NIKKOR 55-200mm 4-5.6G, NIKKOR 50mm 1.8D, NIIKKOR 18-105mm VR 3.5-5.6G]
          [SIGMA 70-300mm 4-5.6 APO DG MACRO]

          OK to edit my images in the DPS forum only.

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          • #6
            Much impressed! Great shot, I love the colors! Very helpful instructions, I think I'll have good luck with this one.

            I don't have any painted bowls... but I got paint, so who knows.. maybe I'll have two artworks in one....? (I'm not a very good painter though, lol...)
            Now with VIDEO
            Tell Liz to GET LOST!
            What a Trip... Getting Lost on America's Back Roads
            A 10,000 mile, 100 day journey photographing America's back roads and lost highways...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Liz Caldwell View Post
              Much impressed! Great shot, I love the colors! Very helpful instructions, I think I'll have good luck with this one.

              I don't have any painted bowls... but I got paint, so who knows.. maybe I'll have two artworks in one....? (I'm not a very good painter though, lol...)
              PS... although I'm a SLR truest, the powershot is a great camera!
              Now with VIDEO
              Tell Liz to GET LOST!
              What a Trip... Getting Lost on America's Back Roads
              A 10,000 mile, 100 day journey photographing America's back roads and lost highways...

              Comment


              • #8
                Nice shot, thanks for sharing, will definitely try this at home
                Nikon D40x 18-55 Kit.
                My Photos:
                flickr

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                • #9
                  You inspired me tonight. I've always wanted to do these shots but I couldn't figure it out. I took your EXIF data and adjusted it a bit for my set up (tripod, stove, overhead stove light, camera flash) and took some pictures. It was so much fun! I didn't get any REALLY good ones, but there are some ones on my flickr account that I liked the best.

                  Thanks for the great tutorial
                  Nikon D40x | Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 | Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G | Nikon 50mm f/1.8D | Adobe Photoshop CS3 | Adobe Photoshop CS5
                  --Flickr

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                  • #10
                    Cool shot! Thank you so much for sharing such detail with us. I will be joining the others in playing with this technique
                    LocoMotion Photog - Sites: Blog flickr

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                    • #11
                      Failure.

                      Attempt one: failure.

                      Lessons learned:

                      Don't try to paint your own bowl, unless you know how to paint.
                      Acrylic paint devolves in water.
                      Shape of bowl is important (go with wide and flat)
                      Water bottle with loosened cap works as a eye dropper.

                      Attempt 2 coming soon.
                      Now with VIDEO
                      Tell Liz to GET LOST!
                      What a Trip... Getting Lost on America's Back Roads
                      A 10,000 mile, 100 day journey photographing America's back roads and lost highways...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        thats really awesome. I love that pattern
                        http://flickr.com/photos/21864391@N05/
                        Canon Digital Rebel Xti, EFS 18-55mm lens
                        http://patrickdaley.wordpress.com/

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                        • #13
                          gave it a quick try tonight


                          DSC_0084

                          DSC_0107
                          Nikon D40 18-55mm, 55-200mm

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                          • #14
                            fighting

                            Here's one of my favorite ones so far.
                            Nikon D40x | Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 | Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G | Nikon 50mm f/1.8D | Adobe Photoshop CS3 | Adobe Photoshop CS5
                            --Flickr

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                            • #15
                              Attempts 2, 3, and 4:

                              Still not got it quite right... uploading attempt 5... I will get this darn it!

                              Now with VIDEO
                              Tell Liz to GET LOST!
                              What a Trip... Getting Lost on America's Back Roads
                              A 10,000 mile, 100 day journey photographing America's back roads and lost highways...

                              Comment

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