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Beginner needs advice on shooting water droplets
As the gloomy weather here in the north of England isn't very inspiring I thought I'd have a go at some pictures of water or milk droplets. I know I will have to take 100s to get anything half decent but before I start can anyone give me any advice?.

I have a D40, 18-55, 55-200 and 50mm lenses. My only flash is the one on the camera. Which would be the best lens to use and do you have any wise words on the angle I should shoot at, camera settings etc?.

Thank you in advance!..

Comments (14)

Catching liquid droplets mid-air will be very difficult: in order to see a droplet at a reasonable size you will need to be very close (macro close), and the depth of field will be very small, which needs a slow shutter speed... which isn't going to freeze a water droplet. The on-board flash won't be of any use that close..

The only way I can see to make this work (not having tried it myself!) is to pre-focus the lens on a distance (say, six inches); spray some droplets in front of the camera with it on burst mode so that you take a lot of frames and hope that one will come out OK. A ring flash would help....

If you don't mind a more static look, why not splash droplets onto a sheet of glass and photograph that against the light?.

Good luck!.

PS The weather in this part of the north of England was great this morning....

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1005&message=26211518Mike..

Comment #1

Mine never came out too well until I got the shutter down to 1/1000. I don't know if you'll be able to get that shutter speed with the on-camera flash, but worth a try. I'd start with the 50 since it will probably be your best bet and shoot in M mode, with a large enough aperature high enough ISO setting to get you to 1/500 or so to start. I found it easier to use a tripod and try to time the shutter with the water droplets. Good luck!..

Comment #2

Amys Mum wrote:.

As the gloomy weather here in the north of England isn't veryinspiring I thought I'd have a go at some pictures of water or milkdroplets. I know I will have to take 100s to get anything half decentbut before I start can anyone give me any advice?.

I have a D40, 18-55, 55-200 and 50mm lenses. My only flash is the oneon the camera. Which would be the best lens to use and do you haveany wise words on the angle I should shoot at, camera settings etc?.

Thank you in advance!.

Hi, I have the exact same camera ( bought it weeks ago, new to dslr world:) with kit lens. On one cold evening had the idea to take a picture of water drops.These are the results.

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I don't know if that's what you want to achieve.. If it is, that's how I did it..

I left the tap dripping slowly, and set the camera on the sink, or held it steady. Later got a low chair, too tiring to crouch..

Set it on S mode, shutter speed 1/500 to 1/125, aperture f/5, because I zoomed in. Forced flash..

Then I concentrated to take a picture every time I saw a drop appearing on the faucet, because by the time the flash fires the drop is already in the air.I took lots of pictures, 60 or more, about 8 passed my quality inspection.Try it .

There might be more sophisticated and successful ways, but being a beginner myself, I found that to be the easiest..

Suehttp://picasaweb.google.com/silvia.simeonovahttp://photo.net/photos/xilin_bestThe world I see is not the same as yours,I take pictures so I can show you mine...

Comment #3

Thank you everyone, Suexilin I do like the first one a lot! I wonder how you could do that in the sink but have a darker background?.

I have been playing about with angles and can't get dead level with the surface of the liquid, I'm wondering how others manage that? Maybe drip onto a shallow tray? The slightly downward angle doesn't show off the shape of the drops..

Comment #4

These are very nice. I didn't thnk it would be possible to get good exposure with the flash that close, but you did... How did you focus? Manually?Best wishesMike..

Comment #5

Amys Mum wrote:.

Thank you everyone, Suexilin I do like the first one a lot! I wonderhow you could do that in the sink but have a darker background?.

I have been playing about with angles and can't get dead level withthe surface of the liquid, I'm wondering how others manage that?Maybe drip onto a shallow tray? The slightly downward angle doesn'tshow off the shape of the drops.

Hi, I got the blue background my hanging a blue towel behind the tap :).

Focusing is difficult, I focus on the tip of the tap, or on the water, right after a drop has fallen. I use AF. Not very good at manual focusing yet .

These are two examples of focusing on the water..

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Suehttp://picasaweb.google.com/silvia.simeonovahttp://photo.net/photos/xilin_bestThe world I see is not the same as yours,I take pictures so I can show you mine...

Comment #6

I am beginning to get geeky about this! Have played around all afternoon but I'm finding it hard to get the focus right. Tomorrow I'll have another go in front of a window and see if I have any more luck. I really would like to get some colour in there but I need to play around a bit more with reflecting light.

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Comment #7

That's lovely isn't it? Sigh - something else to have a go at!.

Where in the gloomy north are you BTW?..

Comment #8

Hi.

I'm very much a beginner myself. I took a few pictures of my kids drinking from a drinking fountain at school. It makes for a super photo, with or without the kids. I'm sure I had my old camera on auto settings so can't help there. Thought you might be interested in the fountain idea..

Cheers.

Declan..

Comment #9

Tak a look at the last shot in this posting..

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...orum=1033&message=26244644&changemode=1.

Joel Orlinsky.

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Comment #10

Amys Mum wrote:.

I am beginning to get geeky about this! Have played around allafternoon but I'm finding it hard to get the focus right. TomorrowI'll have another go in front of a window and see if I have any moreluck. I really would like to get some colour in there but I need toplay around a bit more with reflecting light.

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Hey, I think this is great!!!Suehttp://picasaweb.google.com/silvia.simeonovahttp://photo.net/photos/xilin_bestThe world I see is not the same as yours,I take pictures so I can show you mine...

Comment #11

Joel does that look dangerous stuff or what! I do like the inhaler spray though, good idea..

Comment #12

Http://www.m2edesigns.com/...0a%20Dip%20into%20Water%20Drop%20Photography.doc.

This was a quick to read guide that helped me a lot when setting up water drop shots..

Comment #13

Although you need to purchase an external flash, almost any older unit will do so you can get one for cheap. It is the way to go if you get serious about it, you can get well over 90% success rate once you get it dialed in.

Http://www.hiviz.com/.

Here are 2 of mine (milk), I am getting ready to do some new ones.

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Taking life one picture at a time http://www.pbase.com/samd12..

Comment #14

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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