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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Macro Talk 
Thread started 30 Oct 2014 (Thursday) 14:38
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Water Drop Splash Photography

 
DanTas
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Oct 30, 2014 14:38 |  #1

I've seen some fantastic splash/drops photography and just started playing around with it. I'm not so much interested in the collision photography, but instead just capturing the splash or crown for now. I've been using milk with glycerin in it. Not sure what ratio is best. I shoot in the basement (very dark) on a piece of glass painted black, with black foam boards on each side and the back. I'm suing a Canon 70D and Canon 100mm Macro lens.

One problem I'm having is trying to time when the drop is going to hit. I'm lucky to get 1 out of 50 that works. Just yesterday I found that a trigger helps with this (had never heard of them before). The one I'm looking at is the Cactus Laser LV5. Anyone suggest or recommend a different one? If you are dropping the liquid from 12 inches, for example, and the laser is set up at 6 inches, is it hard to calibrate so that the trigger fires when the drop hits the surface (i.e. at 0 inches)?

My current lighting setup is a Speedlite 430 flash fired remotely using the camera's built in flash as the master. I also have another Speedlite 430 coming in a few days. One thing I don't understand is that I am currently getting trails on all the droplets. I'm using ETTL with camera set at max sync speed of 1/250 second. Why don't I get better "motion stopping" from the flash?

I'm also getting a gray rather than black background but don't want my DOF any shallower. I'm just now thinking that my flash needs to point more from the sides than the front?

That's about as far as I am. Any additional hints/advice would also be appreciated.

Thanks.




  
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gonzogolf
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Oct 30, 2014 15:23 |  #2

I havent done much of this, but there are two areas of problems that I can help with. Dont use ETTL, determine your flash power, preferably at the lowest power setting your setup can handle as thats the shortest duration using a speedlite. I would also consider another trigger method either an hotshoe cord or radio triggers. You are likely getting some contribution from the popup flash which could cause double imaging in that setup.

As for not getting sufficient blacks, get your flash closer to the action The rule of inverse square governs light falloff (look it up if you want details) but the key takeway away is that light falls off quicker close to the flash. So the closer you set your flash to the subject, the quicker the background falls into darkness.




  
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blanex1
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Oct 30, 2014 15:32 |  #3

love to try it,but it seems that the setting up for this kind of photography takes so long !


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DanTas
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Oct 30, 2014 18:14 |  #4

gonzogolf wrote in post #17242276 (external link)
I havent done much of this, but there are two areas of problems that I can help with. Dont use ETTL, determine your flash power, preferably at the lowest power setting your setup can handle as thats the shortest duration using a speedlite. I would also consider another trigger method either an hotshoe cord or radio triggers. You are likely getting some contribution from the popup flash which could cause double imaging in that setup.

As for not getting sufficient blacks, get your flash closer to the action The rule of inverse square governs light falloff (look it up if you want details) but the key takeway away is that light falls off quicker close to the flash. So the closer you set your flash to the subject, the quicker the background falls into darkness.

Thanks on your suggestions to use Manual flash rather than ETTL, and moving the flash closer. Both of those sound like good ideas, and I'll give both a try. Regarding the popup flash, I'll try to totally block out it's light. I really needed it only to act as master to the 2 remote flashes, not for the light it produces.

As to the trigger I mentioned, I believe that is totally different than what you are referring to. To try to catch the drop at the bottom of its fall using trial and error is a crap shoot. The laser trigger is intended to resolve that. It has 2 pieces, the laser and the sensor. You set them up so the drop passes between them, interrupting the laser beam. When that happens, the sensor piece signals the camera to press the shutter. You have to code in the additional time to add in for the drop to fall the rest of the way (e.g. from 6 inches high to the surface at the bottom). That last part is what I was asking about in my original post - don't know how difficult it is to figure that out. But once you do, there is no more guessing as to when to press the shutter - it is accurate 100% of the time.




  
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gonzogolf
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Oct 30, 2014 18:53 |  #5

I understood that you are using a trigger to activate the camera. I'm suggesting you get radio triggers that fire your flashes rather than the optical system




  
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DanTas
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Nov 01, 2014 21:29 |  #6

gonzogolf wrote in post #17242276 (external link)
I havent done much of this, but there are two areas of problems that I can help with. Dont use ETTL, determine your flash power, preferably at the lowest power setting your setup can handle as thats the shortest duration using a speedlite. I would also consider another trigger method either an hotshoe cord or radio triggers. You are likely getting some contribution from the popup flash which could cause double imaging in that setup.

As for not getting sufficient blacks, get your flash closer to the action The rule of inverse square governs light falloff (look it up if you want details) but the key takeway away is that light falls off quicker close to the flash. So the closer you set your flash to the subject, the quicker the background falls into darkness.

Thanks for your suggestions. I got some pretty decent results using Manual for the flash and moving the flash closer. The 2nd Speedlite that I got today also made a big difference:

IMAGE: https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8683/15661689576_c439513592_c.jpg



  
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gonzogolf
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Nov 02, 2014 01:27 |  #7

Nice work great colors




  
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tandemhearts
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Nov 02, 2014 05:30 |  #8

As mentioned, the answer to your trails question is to lower your flash output power. For speedlights, lower power means shorter flash duration.

Here is an article on the relation. http://www.scantips.co​m/speed2.html (external link) and an article on specific unit speeds. http://www.gock.net …-durations-small-strobes/ (external link)




  
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jtack
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Jul 17, 2015 20:58 as a reply to  @ DanTas's post |  #9

That is freakin awesome!!




  
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Dalantech
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Jul 21, 2015 04:19 |  #10

Could also use multiple flash heads, each set to their lowest power setting, get the flashes as close as you can to the subject, use a diffuser that actually diffuses the light and not just blocking it. Getting sharp images is all about keeping that flash duration as short as possible -doesn't matter if you're shooting water drops or insects...


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Avoshots92
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Nov 15, 2017 15:15 |  #11

About last night, I got a water drop photo taken via Sigma 105mm macro lens along with my Nikon D3200. Took me about several hundred images. After some editing and tweaking, I have finally came across the absolute image I have been looking for.


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Pigpen101
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Post edited 6 months ago by Pigpen101. (3 edits in all)
     
Nov 15, 2017 16:05 as a reply to  @ Avoshots92's post |  #12

This is the set up I've been using. It works well, still need a lot of experimenting. Everything affects your shot. I only use glycerin w/ water. I think the full fat milk is thick enough for my purposes. I've since switched to a product they use to thicken liquids in nursing homes. It is available in most pharmacies. A little of this goes a long way. (http://www.nestlenutri​tionstore.com …285817144739#.W​gy5u2xqtMs (external link) ) This trigger also controls all of my flashes, I use 3 or 4. One from each side, one mounted above pointing down, and sometimes one behind if I want to light the background (with or without a gel). All the flashes have my homemade snoots attached so I have complete control of where the light goes. Also, a UV filter attached to the lens for protecting the front element. My shutter speed is about 1 sec, I use my flash to freeze action. I mainly do it during the winter when I feel like photographing something and the weather sucks.


Rain X is also sometimes a good tool. It keeps any liquid that you might be dripping into in place, it makes it "bead" up instead of flattening out.


http://www.cameraaxe.c​om/wp/ (external link)




  
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birderman
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Nov 16, 2017 08:53 |  #13

Not sure if this would help you but I am considering getting this setup as it is relatively low cost compared to other systems I have seen

Pluto Trigger - they also can supply a specially designed valve to control the water drops

refer to their website for ideas and details https://plutotrigger.c​om/pages/valve-guide (external link)

HTH


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bsiegler
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Post edited 6 months ago by bsiegler.
     
Nov 16, 2017 21:44 |  #14

This is the trigger I purchased. I've been very happy with it!
http://www.mjkzz.com/s​hop-water-drop (external link)

I also add xanthum gum to thicken water.




  
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johnperkins
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Nov 29, 2017 01:12 |  #15

I have made some research on Instagram and found another one (http://www.miops.com (external link)). People using the Laser mode of this trigger for water droplet photos. I think, I will also try that.

What do you think about it?




  
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Water Drop Splash Photography
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