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Author Topic: Playing with water drops  (Read 5794 times)

kirispupis

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Playing with water drops
« on: November 12, 2012, 10:24:53 AM »
Just thought I would post a bit about my water drop setup progression.  These photos were all taken with two Stopshots from Cognisys.

This first shot is an example of what I could do before I rebuilt my setup.  The orange is from food coloring while the background is construction paper.  The shot is relatively simple.  I use one drop to get the column then hit it with a second drop to create the splash.

Ending with a Splash by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

In this next shot I rebuilt the siphon system to support three configurable siphons.  This allows me to use three different colored drops in a single photo.  The rest of the system is similar with the same plate holding the water.  I illuminated the background slightly, but otherwise didn't do anything there.

The Well of Souls by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

In the next shot I moved to illuminating from underneath.  I used a Tupperware container and a glass dish.  Although I could use three siphons, I only used one siphon here and the shot is similar in complexity to the first one.  The difference in shape is due to the makeup of the liquid.  There are a number of problems with this shot and I realized after taking it that the Tupperware was not very practical.

Watercolor by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

The last shot I took yesterday.  I built a small light table and rested the glass dish on it.  One flash was used to light from below while another was geled and placed behind the table to create the background.  Another flash illuminated from the side.  Two siphons were used.

Drop Playground by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

I am getting there, but more work needs to be done.
  • The table shook a bit and was not level.  This is the reason for the unlevel background and harsh transition on the side.  I have since fixed this with leveling legs.
  • I need more flashes for the setup.  In particular I would like at least two for the background, another one on the other side, and two for underneath (to light up the water behind the drop more).
  • I bought polarized filter paper for my flashes and have a polarizer for my lens.  I just need to brave up and cut it ($50/sheet) and use it on the side flashes to see the effect - which I hope removes some of the glare I spend time in PP removing
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Playing with water drops
« on: November 12, 2012, 10:24:53 AM »

miah

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Re: Playing with water drops
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2012, 10:52:59 AM »
Fascinating stuff. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Playing with water drops
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2012, 11:48:40 AM »
Very Cool...

Playing with Water, freezing action , setting it all up and then clean up later is not as fun as watching these pics are:-)
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Re: Playing with water drops
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2012, 11:57:15 AM »
Looks like a lot of work Kiris!  Very nice images, congratulations... Enjoyable to view also!  8)
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Re: Playing with water drops
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2012, 12:38:47 PM »
  • I bought polarized filter paper for my flashes and have a polarizer for my lens.  I just need to brave up and cut it ($50/sheet) and use it on the side flashes to see the effect - which I hope removes some of the glare I spend time in PP removing

The CP on your lens makes total sense, but why polarize the flash output?  I've never heard of that before and I'm quite curious.

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Re: Playing with water drops
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2012, 01:25:13 PM »
Lovely photos and something I want to try. Thus far I have only used stationary water drops. I would be interested in learning more about your setup.

kirispupis

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Re: Playing with water drops
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2012, 01:57:31 PM »
  • I bought polarized filter paper for my flashes and have a polarizer for my lens.  I just need to brave up and cut it ($50/sheet) and use it on the side flashes to see the effect - which I hope removes some of the glare I spend time in PP removing

The CP on your lens makes total sense, but why polarize the flash output?  I've never heard of that before and I'm quite curious.

If you want to remove reflections on some surfaces caused by flash, you need to polarize both the flashes and the lens.  I bought the material for my MT-24EX for photographing metallic-like bugs (notably beetles) that have a lot of gleam, but I have enough to cover several flashes too.  I'm not sure how it will turn out here as I am not dealing with metal, but I need to to this for other types of photography (like jewelry) anyways.
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Re: Playing with water drops
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2012, 01:57:31 PM »

kirispupis

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Re: Playing with water drops
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2012, 02:06:55 PM »
Lovely photos and something I want to try. Thus far I have only used stationary water drops. I would be interested in learning more about your setup.

Here is a guest blog I did some time ago with my initial setup and some of my first shots - http://www.ronmartblog.com/2011/12/high-speed-drop-photographygetting.html

I have changed my setup since considerably, but I still use the same table, stands, tripod, and bar.  The following are differences between the two setups.
- I now drop things to a DIY light table.
- I use three siphons instead of one - and I built my own contraption to hold + adjust them.
- I use three flashes instead of two.  I can support up to seven flashes and have plans to buy four more.
- I have a lot more solutions for backgrounds now.

I will likely do another guest blog when the full setup is done.  Besides the polarizing change and flashes, I need to buy new light stands as the current ones have a hard time with the weight.  I use Chinese flashes.  My current ones are the 565 but the four new ones will be the 568.  Ironically the Chinese flashes have been more dependable than my Canon ones.  The miniport on my 580EX II broke so I now fire it via hotshoe.  My 580EX has a sync problem so I can no longer use it for high speed.

On the side I also purchased the new high speed shutter from Cognisys and am in the process of building a contraption to use it.  I plan to use it for insects in flight.

As you can tell, most of my budget now goes to high speed photography.  I'm rather glad Canon hasn't released any interesting lenses in awhile.
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bvukich

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Re: Playing with water drops
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2012, 02:13:45 PM »
  • I bought polarized filter paper for my flashes and have a polarizer for my lens.  I just need to brave up and cut it ($50/sheet) and use it on the side flashes to see the effect - which I hope removes some of the glare I spend time in PP removing

The CP on your lens makes total sense, but why polarize the flash output?  I've never heard of that before and I'm quite curious.

If you want to remove reflections on some surfaces caused by flash, you need to polarize both the flashes and the lens.  I bought the material for my MT-24EX for photographing metallic-like bugs (notably beetles) that have a lot of gleam, but I have enough to cover several flashes too.  I'm not sure how it will turn out here as I am not dealing with metal, but I need to to this for other types of photography (like jewelry) anyways.

Hmmm... that does make a lot of sense logically.  What better way to increase contrast in highlight/glare areas than to prevent most of them from occurring in the first place.  Polarize the source to get optimal light, then clean up the remainder/oddities at the lens.

Do you make the filter over the strobe rotatable, or do you just move the whole strobe and/or object?

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Re: Playing with water drops
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2012, 02:21:26 PM »
Can you explain better how are you doing the different color drops? do you use different liquids?
They look great , thanks for sharing :)
« Last Edit: November 12, 2012, 02:25:01 PM by arioch82 »
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Re: Playing with water drops
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2012, 02:28:36 PM »
Thank you, I have bookmarked this thread and the blog. I have access to 2 580 EX II, plus I have the Elinchrom D-Lite 4 IT kit. Does anyone ever use strobes or is it all speedlites (please excuse me if this is addressed in the blog. I haven't had time to read it yet.) I also don't have a macro lens. My shot was made using the EF-S 55-250 with the Raynox DCR-250 attached. It was difficult to achieve focus with stationary drops, so I'm not sure that it would work at all with movement. I have 2 5-day and 1 4-day weekends upcoming over the holidays, so it would be really fun to experiment! Here's a link to my first attempt at stationary water drops if you want to see it http://www.flickr.com/photos/21741633@N08/6838455791/#

kirispupis

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Re: Playing with water drops
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2012, 02:44:27 PM »
  • I bought polarized filter paper for my flashes and have a polarizer for my lens.  I just need to brave up and cut it ($50/sheet) and use it on the side flashes to see the effect - which I hope removes some of the glare I spend time in PP removing

The CP on your lens makes total sense, but why polarize the flash output?  I've never heard of that before and I'm quite curious.

If you want to remove reflections on some surfaces caused by flash, you need to polarize both the flashes and the lens.  I bought the material for my MT-24EX for photographing metallic-like bugs (notably beetles) that have a lot of gleam, but I have enough to cover several flashes too.  I'm not sure how it will turn out here as I am not dealing with metal, but I need to to this for other types of photography (like jewelry) anyways.

Hmmm... that does make a lot of sense logically.  What better way to increase contrast in highlight/glare areas than to prevent most of them from occurring in the first place.  Polarize the source to get optimal light, then clean up the remainder/oddities at the lens.

Do you make the filter over the strobe rotatable, or do you just move the whole strobe and/or object?

I only need to filter the strobe.  If you are interested in a lot of details on light polarization, this book is the best - http://www.amazon.com/Light-Science-Magic-Fourth-Edition/dp/0240812255/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352749408&sr=8-1&keywords=light+science+and+magic
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kirispupis

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Re: Playing with water drops
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2012, 02:45:30 PM »
Can you explain better how are you doing the different color drops? do you use different liquids?
They look great , thanks for sharing :)

The colors for the water drops are from standard food coloring.  The backgrounds use either geled flashes or construction paper.  I have also used different colored bowls in the past.
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Re: Playing with water drops
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2012, 02:45:30 PM »

kirispupis

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Re: Playing with water drops
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2012, 02:53:01 PM »
Thank you, I have bookmarked this thread and the blog. I have access to 2 580 EX II, plus I have the Elinchrom D-Lite 4 IT kit. Does anyone ever use strobes or is it all speedlites (please excuse me if this is addressed in the blog. I haven't had time to read it yet.) I also don't have a macro lens. My shot was made using the EF-S 55-250 with the Raynox DCR-250 attached. It was difficult to achieve focus with stationary drops, so I'm not sure that it would work at all with movement. I have 2 5-day and 1 4-day weekends upcoming over the holidays, so it would be really fun to experiment! Here's a link to my first attempt at stationary water drops if you want to see it http://www.flickr.com/photos/21741633@N08/6838455791/#

I am not familiar with the Elinchrom, but my suspicion is it will not work very well.  Most monolights work very poorly for high speed photography.

The biggest misunderstanding in high speed photography is the perception that the camera (shutter speed) freezes action.  This is not the case.  Most cameras do not go higher than 1/8000s.  You need to go to at least 1/30,000s for these shots.  To do that you need to freeze the action with flash - not with the shutter.

When you set the power on your flash or monolight, you are really setting the duration of the light.  Shooting at 1/1 vs. 1/128 is accomplished by the light shining for a longer period of time - not any brighter.  Therefore, to freeze action you need to shoot with flashes set to 1/128 power.  Most monolights even at their weakest hold the light for too long.

The lights also need to be similar enough to fire simultaneously.  This is usually a more severe problem in cameras.  For example my 5D3 has an 83.7ms delay from when the shutter is triggered in mirror lock mode to when it actually fires.  Luckily I am able to compensate for this through timing in water drop photography, but the challenge in insect photography is more extreme (and requires using a special shutter).  Flashes are generally instantaneous but as I mentioned my 580EX had an issue here and had to be pulled.
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Re: Playing with water drops
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2012, 06:16:36 PM »
Great images and good walk through....   On my must try list for a long time now

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Re: Playing with water drops
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2012, 06:16:36 PM »