Today I finally did a little photographic project I’ve been meaning to do for a very long time. I’m sure most of you have seen pictures of water drops, perhaps you’ve tried it, perhaps you have always wondered how it’s done. Today I did it. It was a very simple setup. I put my camera on my tripod with a macro lens and went into the bathroom to have darkness, so the only light would be from my flash. I put my flashgun on a light stand to my left, aimed at a tiny bowl of water, which I colored with one drop of blue food coloring. I connected the flash to my camera with an off-camera shoe cord and set the flash to manual exposure. I focused my lens on the dead center of the bowl, shut off the light and used an eyedropper to drop single drops of water into the center of the bowl.
It took some trial and error, both to learn how to drop the water droplets in the right spot, and to vary timing so that actual formations of interest were captured. Mostly, I just tripped the shutter as soon as I saw a drop leave the eyedropper. Since my flash was close, I was using 1/16 power and f/10 on my lens, and still got proper exposure. The flash duration is short, so it easily froze the action. The only really tricky part is that with this close of a setup, the depth of field, even at f/10 on Micro 4/3, is extremely shallow…like in the 3-4mm range. Any miss was out of focus. In fact, about 80% of my shots were out of focus. If I were doing more extensive work, I’d have rigged up something to hold the eyedropper, so that the drops hit in the same spot each time. Even as it was, I got some excellent images. Give it a try sometime!
All images are clickable for a larger version.