Friday, September 26, 2014

How to Shoot Water Droplet

Stuck at home, gotta find something to do. Then I recall there is one episode of digitalrev showing on how to shoot water (droplet). So be it! Took me 15 minutes to gather all the necessary "equipments" and set it up. It look roughly like this.

The Setup.
The orange plastic bag is fill with little bit of water for droplet purpose, then fill up the bottom tupperware container with water. You see I wrap the flash with red plastic bag to give the image "reddish" look by default. Finally, I mount my camera on a tripod.

The flash was set to 1/32 power. Camera exposure was on ISO100, f/16 and 1/160 seconds. I'm not using high speed sync here because I don't have the hardware to support it. Although D600 is able to sync up to 1/200 sec, I shoot at 1/160 sec to prevent the dark frame problem. The exposure value is just for reference only. You may use these exposure values as a staring point. Next is to manually set the focus distance. I'm using the YongNuo 603 radio trigger to trigger the flash remotely and also to served as remote shutter release. Estimate where the water droplet impact on the surface and I put a straw there to assist me in focusing. Once you get it, set the camera to manual focus. Finally, punch a hole on the orange plastic bag with a needle and let the show begin!

Observe the interval of the water droplet falling into the tupperware below. You can use continuous burst to increase the hit rate, but I prefer accurate timing. After some try and error, you may start to get consistent results. Note that when the droplet falls onto the water surface below, it will first create a round splash, then the droplet sink into the water and bounce back up with "water column". I'm able to manipulate it into many different colors from the white balance and tint scale. Just play around with it in Lightroom and you will be suprise how many color combination it is able to produce. Of course, shoot RAW! Here are some samples from my attempt.

I hope you enjoy the shot and please try at home! Good Luck! 

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