Monday, November 10, 2008

Some More Water

Well I didn't get a lot done this weekend, but I did find a little time to play with some more water.

I set up a mini studio to get some splash shots. I started with a square vase that had reasonably flat sides so that the glass wouldn't distort the image too much. I think an aquarium would have been better, but I don't have one. I set the camera on a tripod and focused it manually on an object I held in the middle of the vase. I used manual focus for a couple reasons: I wanted to be able to take a shot as quickly as possible, the auto focus takes time; and I wanted to be able lock the focus in the same spot every time.

Some of the splashes were somewhat large so I used the blue bowl as an umbrella.

Setting up the flash was a little tricky. I don't have an external flash (yet) so I was stuck with the built in flash. I wanted to light the vase from the side so that there wouldn't be a reflection on the front of the vase blocking the subject that was within. So I found a white cardboard box and made two shades, one to block the flash from hitting the front of the vase and another to reflect the light into the side. It worked alright.

Once set up, I filled up the vase with water, sat down and dropped rocks in the vase and tried to press the shutter at just the right time. I have a remote shutter switch which came in handy, I didn't have to worry about accidentally moving anything by reaching my hand into my contraption. It took a few tries to get the timing right, but some of them are interesting.

I started out with a white background.

Later I switched to black.

I'm not sure which background I like better. I think next time I'll try more interesting backgrounds that are multi coloured to add another layer of complexity.

I must not have been paying too much attention to the flash shade and reflector. You can see that there's a quite a range in the amount of light that's hitting the subjects. Most of the shots used a shutter speed of 1/200, the white ones were 1/40. f5.0 and ISO 400 was used for everything. So I figure that maybe the reflector got moved. Oh well, live and learn.

If you have any ideas or tips or would like to say anything, please feel free to leave a comment.


  1. Those look pretty cool! I think a drop of water into a bowl of water would be cool as well.

  2. I think so too, I tried that a while ago, before I had a tripod and remote, it didn't work out very well. I'll probably try it again sometime.