Catching liquid drops (DIY) - Setup

Ever wondered how this kind of pictures are achieved? Well, actually it´s not that difficult. Just gotta catch the droping liquid in the right moment and with the right lightning.

Actually you can do this right now: go to the kitchen, open the tap just a bit, so that only drops pour down and put a bowl underneath. Now wait for the drops to reach the surface and pull the trigger. Now, under normal light situations (not all kitchens do have the full sunlight coming through the window or really strong lamps on the ceiling) you wont be able to get over 1/125 even with wide open lense. This speed is much to low to really freeze the moving of the liquid. So, you will need your flash.
You can use the build-in flash of your camera, but this will not give you satisfying results: the light will come from the front and take all the 3-dimensional effect of the situation. Try it.

The best setup is using proper studio-lights or a slave flash unit. Put either one of them to one side of the scene. Doing this will give you the depth and 3-dimensional effect you need for making the drop look crispier and vivid. Also, it will let you achieve the complete "freeze" of the plumping drop.

So, now you are able to catch the drop of water pouring on the bowl and hopefully making some fancy figures. The next step is to use different colours: try a coloured bowl... a blue one, a yellow one, a red one. See how the reflection of the light gives the drop different "moods". Depending on the angle of the incoming light you will get some awesome colour-effects.

The last step is to try out different liquids: dont only use water dropping on water... try milk on milk, coffe on milk, milk on coffe, coke on coke, etc.

The most important parameter in this kind of pictures is: time and patience. You will have to take hundres of pictures in order to get THE ONE. But, hey, it´s always about beeing in the right place in the right moment. In this case this applies, too.

Here I found an example of a good and easy setup for this kind of pictures:

Current Waterdrop Setup, ursprünglich hochgeladen von *Corrie*

Happy shooting and don´t forget not to use the biggest apperture on your lense: you will need some depth (3-4 cm) to get the right figure.

Liquid Gold

*UPDATE* Here you will find some great examples of this kind of pics! Enjoy :-)

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