Last week I was supposed to photograph some water splashes, but instead got side-tracked by blowing bubbles in a glass of wine. Well, you know how it is! So I thought it was time to have another go. Firstly, two setup shots:
The water filled a shallow baking tray (to the brim), which was sitting on top of my new mini studio setup (otherwise known as an upturned plastic garden table!). This provided a convenient drip tray for any water which found its way out of the baking tray.
I was using the Canon 60mm EF-S f/2.8 USM macro lens, looking directly along the surface of the water. Most of the shots below were lit from behind with a YN560 on 1/128-1/64 power, usually shooting through a coloured plastic bowl (I bough a set of pink, blue, green, yellow, orange and turquoise in the supermarket for a couple of quid), then through two layers of a plastic filing box.
It’s a poor substitute for proper perspex, as it isn’t really translucent enough, and the flash still shows hotspots. I’ve just ordered some acrylic sheet from eBay, hopefully this will diffuse the light much better. There was another piece of coloured film in front of the plastic sheet, to give a nice colour to reflect off the water.
The water was dropped from a glass pippette into roughly the right spot in the tray. Timing the shutter was by hand with a remote control. Although the camera was at ISO 100, around 1/250 at f/16 for most of the shots, it’s the short duration of flash which really gave the true exposure time, since the frame was completely black without any flash.
I tried some experiments with different colours of bowl/gels, and was just about getting the hang of timing the drops to catch ripples and the splash pool.
Some of the later shots also had another YN560 shooting at right angles from one side, and bouncing off white foamcore board, again at low power – 1/128 or 1/64.
So that’s it for today’s shoot. There were many shots which weren’t usable because they were out of focus or there wasn’t anything interesting happening! But considering I was having to time by hand, I’m pleased to have got anything as good as this.
In future, I’d like to make things a little bit more predictable, so need to be able to fix the pippette nozzle so it always shoots to the same spot – then focus will be more accurate. And I need to soften the rear flash a bit, perhaps I will have a go at making a softbox as well as using the new acrylic sheet when it arrives.
My favourite shot for Day #1279 was Go With The Flow.