I’ve always been intrigued by water drop photos.
I see them often on Flickr and other photo sites and always wanted to do them, but never really took the time to work on them. Recently, I was coming down with a cold and didn’t want to venture out in icky weather to find a photo for the day, so I decided to take a gamble on water drops.
Now how to do them?
I did a lot of searching on the internet about this technique and there were many different blogs, sites and items showing me how to do it.
The problem was that most were using off-camera flashes and/or extra lighting. I don’t have that luxury. I don’t have the remotes to do an off-camera flash and I don’t have lighting.
So I kept digging.
One thing I found was someone who used the actual pop-up flash on the camera and they seemed to do a pretty solid job of taking the drops. A little more digging gave me a decent look at things. Once I had some ideas in mind, I started digging around.
I set up a small light box area with a white sheet covering the ground and over the back of a few boxes stacked up. I then had a clear plastic container with water.
With the camera on a tri-pod, I aimed a bit above the drops. The clear shots showed me I was going in the right direction, but it didn’t give me the effect I was searching for.
So, time to figure something out.
Something I hadn’t seen was using food coloring as the drops. So, what the heck?
Here’s one thing I know I need to work on next time I do this. I need to put something together that will do the water drops automatically. Though each spot I looked for info on these drops said to do something where you could guarantee the drop to be, I decided to take the risk and just have them dropping from the top.
Still, I think going with F8 saved me on a couple of these drops.
I set up at ISO 100, F8 and the exposure at 1/250, which is the maximum with a flash connected. I put the flash on manual and made it at 1/16, powering it down a bit.
I then pointed the camera at the water, but angled the flash so it was pointing straight ahead and bouncing off the white background on the back “wall.”
I snapped as fast as I could, trying to time the drop. Sometimes it worked well, sometimes not so much. But I really liked the food coloring into the clear water.
Here are a couple of my favorite of those:
After doing this for a bit, it needed a small change.
Round two went with clear water with red food coloring, and dropping clear water in to see what kind of a feel I could get. It was OK, but not as colorful as using the food coloring.
This next shot color is a bit different. I might have mixed in another color to try and lighten it. Or it might be how the flash hit. Either way, this is the only shot like this I got all day. It was pretty wild to see this little cave-like drop and everything else seem to be so smooth.
Finally, at the end, I wanted to try something else, so a couple drops of green food coloring was next.
Most didn’t come out too well, but one really caught my eye.
This won’t be the last time I do water drops. In fact, I’d be willing to bet I’ll have them on my 366 Project at some point again this year. But I’m going to mess around a little bit more and see where I can fix things. I would like to get some remotes to be able to do off-camera flash, too, to try things that way.
If you are looking for some other awesome water drops, search Flickr. There is some great shots out there.
And if you’ve done this before, let me know in the comments how you’ve done it and what you did. I’d be interested to see how others have done it and such and what kind of success they’ve experienced.
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