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csurry 16 9.2k 92
5 Oct 2005 6:15AM
Explanation as sent to an ePZ member who emailed me, so it may not read quite right as posted, but I'm working away from home - again!

1) A small fish tank. Filled almost to the top with water. This still left a problem of reflections and background. I solved this by using a piece of white plastic like perspex cut to size and bent and slotted into the bottom of the tank creating a curve (thus allowing the light to form a natural gradient) and secured with two crocodile clips.

2) Using a macro lens or something allowing close focus the lens was set up such that it was approx 4-8 ins above the water level and approx 12ins away. Mount the camera on a tripod.

3) The secret to the reflection I found was in lighting from behind the setup, so through the plastic. As said this created a natural gradient in the light. This needs an off-shoe cord. Alternatively I suppose it would work with some rear lighting such as a lamp and on-camera flash just to freeze movement.

4) Getting the flash duration to be short enough - I did quite a bit of reading up on the internet and found a few tricks mentioned to get faster flash output. One use the strobe facility and set for one pulse at say 1/32 or 1/64. (This will make sense if you have a flash capable of strobe - mine is a Nikon SB-800). Another trick I am yet to try is to use a peice of white card folded so that some light is immediately reflected back on to the sensor of the flashgun. Apparently this will fool it into thinking there was more light and cutting out the duration even quicker (yet to try this to see if it is true).

5) Extreme patience to drop the water (I use a pipette from a chemists) and try to trigger the shutter using a remote release.

6) The blue colour is introduced using the WB setting of flourescent, though it could be added later (or changed) in Photoshop or similar.

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Mike Gray 13 382 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2005 6:18AM
I allways wondered how you did this.
eos3 14 41 Wales
5 Oct 2005 6:19AM
Stunning shot. Love it.

jason_e 12 15 1 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2005 6:23AM
Nice work, it also sounds like hard work.Click
TeresaH 13 1.1k United Kingdom
5 Oct 2005 6:23AM
One of the best I've seen.

xanda 14 244 2 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2005 6:24AM
It is, truly, stunning. That smooth blue is to die for. Click.
5 Oct 2005 6:31AM
Great photo!!!!!! and thanx for the explanation really helpful.
csurry 16 9.2k 92
5 Oct 2005 6:33AM
There's probably a much more simple way, but I like to over-complicate things Wink)
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
5 Oct 2005 6:34AM
Another good one. And thanks for posting the explanation. I will have to try this sometime.
ian_w 13 22 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2005 6:48AM
Excellent shot.
angej 13 479 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2005 6:49AM
Superb... excellent detail and sharpness enhanced by the blue tones
Pete Plus
17 18.8k 97 England
5 Oct 2005 7:10AM
U4eA 13 475 England
5 Oct 2005 7:25AM
Classic example of the 'genre' the blue hue.
mikears 13 89 Canada
5 Oct 2005 7:35AM
Fantastic work and explanation Cheryl - does sound like something you can even attempt with a Canon A80 'prosumer' compact, does it?? I guess the flash is necessary.

iansamuel 14 271 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2005 7:46AM
stunning. love the reflection and symmetry.

angej 13 479 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2005 8:00AM
rickie 13 98 1 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2005 8:01AM
excellent shot
andytvcams 15 10.4k 1 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2005 8:40AM

csurry 16 9.2k 92
5 Oct 2005 8:56AM
Thanks everyone.

I'm sure that this is possible with less props, but this is the first time I've got a decent reflection.

Will carry on experimenting and post any simplifications as and when I discover them.

What I need now and maybe someone can suggest where I can get something is: you remember in science class there was a stand that you could use to support something like a flask over the bunsen burner. Well I need to set up something so that the drop always falls in the same place, rather than guessing and doing it by 'eye'. Any ideas?
bzbee Plus
14 102 3 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2005 9:09AM
You can buy clamp stands from scientific suppliers, Cheryl. I can get details if you like. Wonderful picture - perfect in fact
csurry 16 9.2k 92
5 Oct 2005 9:15AM
Yes please Linda, should have thought of you being a teacher an' all

Mike, sorry yes the flash is essential as it reduces the amount of elapsed time recorded to something like 1/4,000th or even 1/10,000th second, which means no blur. I know people have achieved images using the cameras on-board flash.

The theory of paper folding explained above according to the website can achieve 1/40,000th sec. That was on an older style Nikon flashgun for which they claimed using the strobe at 1/32 gave the 1/10,000th. I don't have any equipment to measure this to prove it one way or another.

If anyone is interested the camera was set to 1/60th at f/22.

Definitely have some planned improvements to the setup, yes I know I'm never satisfied Wink)
Miles Herbert Plus
15 1.9k 4 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2005 9:28AM
...yawn... another EC Cheryl....mind you even I'll admit that this is nearly as good as "the duck"...

(well done!)

csurry 16 9.2k 92
5 Oct 2005 9:32AM
Surely you don't mean the duck
geoffash26 14 2.5k United Kingdom
5 Oct 2005 9:34AM
No reflection in the duck though Miles LOL

Good work Cheryl will have a go on a winter night when the boredom sets in
ColouredImages 13 47 35 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2005 9:37AM
Glad to be the 30th. A well deserved award for a brilliant shot

csurry 16 9.2k 92
5 Oct 2005 9:38AM
It was raining Geoff and I was gonna be out all the next day taking boring bird of prey shots, you know how tough life can be Wink)
hebdens 12 5
5 Oct 2005 9:41AM
Great shot.
Ceciliat 13 6 Philippines
5 Oct 2005 9:48AM
Anthony 16 5.6k 17 Scotland
5 Oct 2005 9:55AM
spot on, lovely.
mellyleth 14 212 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2005 10:46AM
Quite possibly the best one of these I've seen on this site so far. Spot on and congrats Smile
User_Removed 13 132
5 Oct 2005 11:25AM
superb set up & capture
conrad 13 10.9k 116
5 Oct 2005 12:04PM
Oh, no! Another drip errr... drop, and another EC! You must be joking!

Hmmm, apparently not. Well, allright then - congratulations! Heartfelt, you can tell, can't you... Wink

csurry 16 9.2k 92
5 Oct 2005 12:25PM
I know Conrad and it's getting blooming expensive now I can tell you!!!

I'm glad Kev keeps leaving the fivers in my usual place as Pete assumes that they are from me Wink)

Thanks again. I really do have some improvements in mind, but as Conrad is obviously bored already then back to the birds of prey for a couple of days.
martin.w 16 519 22 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2005 1:45PM
Can't fault it, simply excellent.
Glamrox 13 304 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2005 2:56PM
Lovely shot, and nice to see such a full explanation of the set up. Thanks for sharing both with us
mattberry 13 259 14 Greece
5 Oct 2005 2:57PM
Excellent quality but these water drop shots do send me to sleep it has to be said. Each to their own though. Sorry for making what could be deemed a negative comment, I realise that kind of behaviour is frowned upon.
xinia 13 54
5 Oct 2005 3:33PM
mattmatic 14 598
5 Oct 2005 9:10PM
Sublime quality to this, and the ripples are fab - you can still sense the movement. Very cool.
Well done on the EC!
annaliese 13 421 1 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2005 11:53PM
Missed this one yesterday, congrats on the EC, and thanks for a detailed explanation Smile

6 Oct 2005 12:03AM
A rightly deserved EC, technically perfect and a credit to your skill. K.
csurry 16 9.2k 92
6 Oct 2005 12:05AM
S'ok Matt, I'm not particularly into butterfly photographs but it doesn't stop me appreciating a good example of the genre.

Thanks all, no problems with sharing the technique I used. If I fnd something easier I'll share that as well.

That's a late comment K as you were the first to click.
6 Oct 2005 12:12AM
Sorry Cheryl, had a bit of a day yesterday, all rectified now I hope Smile
jasonewell 13 34 United Kingdom
6 Oct 2005 4:20AM
I agree with Pete. Perfect Cheryl.
julesm Plus
14 1.7k 7 United Kingdom
6 Oct 2005 4:23AM
The best example of this I have seen, well done indeed.

Willyjeen 13 7
6 Oct 2005 9:39AM
Paddy 15 254 8 England
7 Oct 2005 3:36AM
just the best .. beautiful and more Smile)P
sugarbird 14 223 South Africa
7 Oct 2005 7:38PM

csurry 16 9.2k 92
8 Oct 2005 12:59AM
Thanks again. Much appreciate people taking time to comment and I know I am particularly bad as an anonymous clicker.

Paddy nice to see you back again.
Coleslaw 12 13.4k 28 Wales
9 Oct 2005 1:48AM
Thanks for the description. Might try it someday.
This is perfect.....well, to me anyway

9 Oct 2005 9:32AM
I too, have never seen a drop done like this before. It's beautiful in how it imparts a sense of calm as you look at it.
StevieH 12 1
10 Oct 2005 2:15AM
I did a similar thing (the drops) whilst at college, only no where near as beautifully lit as this, what we did was to trigger the flash using the drip. We used a light beam that when the drip passed through triggered a variable electronic delay, using a slow shutter we shot a sequence of shots slightly adjusting the delay as we went along. this was on 35mm film so we didn't quite know what we had until we developed it! Anyway really beautiful work.
csurry 16 9.2k 92
12 Oct 2005 1:01PM
Thanks Cole, Danielle and Steve.

Steve, Tandy used to do a sound trigger for a tenner that could be made to work for the drip shots (and bursting balloons) but they don't seem to do it anymore. Seems you can still buy the kit in the US, probably some stupid health and safety regulation.
jimbocarroll 12 30 Ireland
14 Oct 2005 1:01AM
Brilliant pic, never gets boring!

old timer 14 55 1 Scotland
14 Oct 2005 9:38PM
How did I miss this?!! One of the best of these I've ever seen!
Mari 14 1.8k United Kingdom
16 Oct 2005 10:37AM
Jasbe 12 116 England
19 Oct 2005 10:50AM
nice shot, I've been having a go at these but not much luck, any tips?
Cheers : ) Jason
Lou41 12 139 United Kingdom
29 Oct 2005 7:58AM
Staggeringly good shot , beautiful deep colour.
StevenPrice 13 30 2 England
24 Dec 2005 5:55AM
didnt see this one until someone pointed it out Cheryl but i have had a go at the same sort of shot. not as good as yours but i have tried, it made a nice change to attempt a different technique.

Museman 12 Wales
22 Jun 2006 8:02PM
Superb pic Cheryl and interesting reading your technique.
Hazard 14 1.2k United Kingdom
28 Oct 2006 10:18AM
love it
HowardA 11 231
24 Jul 2007 2:49PM
Wonderful image. Those ripples breaking the smooth surface are perfect. Great colour too.
bfgstew 11 668 105 England
24 May 2009 9:15PM
Certainly much much sharper and cleaner.
I must try harder.........Sounds like my old school reports.

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