Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Water Drops Like Glass and Jello (edited with a how-I-shot-it)

I was alone in the office (yet again) a few days ago so I hunted on the net for some photography ideas. Then I came across a forum that was discussing waterdrop / droplet shots, so I decided to try my hand at freezing falling drops of water.

So here they are, numbered and titled. I think that I should start titling my shots to give it more value and meaning, and also to make it easier for people to refer to.

Which ones do you like the most?

#1 - The Sinking Bowling Pin

#2 - The Young Thought Bubble

#3 - The Dying Maelstrom

#4 - The Bigheaded Chess Pawn

#5 - The Hungry Water Hole

#6 - Casper Looking for a Friend

#7 - The Suicidal Obese

#8 - William Tell's Target Practice

#9 - Nessie Comes Out to Play

#10 - Tilt Twenty-Three and a Half Degrees

#11 - Bob Wins an Award

#12 - Flaring Cold Fusion

Titling these shots was much harder than taking them!


Taking these shots require good timing and definitely a DSLR. This is because a DSLR have less to no shutter lag so you can time your shots right. Using a compact point and shoot camera is still possible, but you have to really know the timing of your camera's shutter lag and take the picture a bit earlier than the water drop.

I used small apertures (f/11, f/16, f/20) for these shots for larger depth of focus. All of them were shot at 1/200s shutter speed. Slower shutter speeds will result in blurring due to subject movement (the water drops and splashes) and camera shake (unsteady hands, unless using a tripod). Since the fastest response time for my flash is 1/200 seconds, I had to use that shutter speed to freeze the shot. A faster shutter speed will result in the flash firing after the shot was taken , which serves no purpose.

A pro would use manual focus and a tripod but I used AF (autofocus) and handheld the camera. I held a plastic spoon at the exact location where the water will drop and lock the AF, remove the spoon and timed my shot and pressed the shutter exactly when the water drop reaches the pool of water in the mug. It took quite a number of shots, and the 12 shots above are the ones I really liked.

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