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By Tish1    
Having had a head full of tax returns, can't shut my brain down; so, decided to try and improve my water drop photography. Some things have improved; I have achieved the reflections in the water and, the ripples are softer, so, there is some progress, but I am still struggling with the lighting, although that I think has improved slightly, but it is not right. Once I've got the fundamentals right I will start to add some something or other gum in the hope of achieving some more interesting shapes, but for now, this is plain water

I don't think I have yet got the camera position right and that seems to me to be crucial; although I have used a macro lens, I am not getting close enough, so, on my next attempt I am going to try close up ring things, to see if that improves the situation.

I have learnt that when using water you need to light from the back, which I did here, but, I haven't got the light intensity correct, I don't think, I think it needs to be dialed down a bit.

I used coloured gels and personally I think they are useless, or, which is more likely, I am not using them correctly, that combined with the fact that I am not getting the light right is making me cringe.

I am looking for any advice on how to get the fundamentals right so that I can move on to what I have in my head.

Tags: General Water Water drops

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16 Jan 2017 3:50AM
Still. Quite an impressive capture with a slow shutter speed and no flash.

BobinAus Plus
7 3 13 Australia
16 Jan 2017 5:14AM
I'm the last person who should offer advice about this kind of photography but I think you're being a bit tough on your shot. I like the shapes you have created - the colours too - and have added a cropped version which makes more of those shapes and less of the broad swathes of colour. For what it's worth but hope it's useful.

ddolfelin Plus
10 103 3 Wales
16 Jan 2017 8:57AM
Whatever the intention, I love the result.
16 Jan 2017 9:53AM
Cant give you any advise but I am impressed with your images. Debs
sparrowhawk Plus
13 282 3 United Kingdom
16 Jan 2017 10:08AM
just keep experimenting and most of all if it pleases you thats all that really matters ! photography i was taught is about enjoy the moment not always about hoew right you got it !
Nikonuser1 Plus
9 172 16 United Kingdom
16 Jan 2017 10:19AM
I like the result Tish, but sorry cannot give any adviceGrinGrinGrin

dudler Plus
18 1.9k 1937 England
16 Jan 2017 11:30AM
A thought or two...

I agree - camera lower will make the shapes simpler, though it will reduce the view of the ripples.

Partly, it's the 60mm macro: there's a reason many macros are 90, 105 or even 200mm, because pushing the camera back makes the perspective easier, and lets you separate subject, lights and camera more.

The idea that the light may be a touch high is also sensible, I think. Balance between backlighting and frontal light is always tricky - it doesn't jsut need a belt of light, but a carefully-metered dose.

Having said this - I've never tried this sort of shot - though I reckon it would frazzle my brain as much as tax returns do!
TrevBatWCC Plus
14 13 19 England
16 Jan 2017 11:41AM
Well, despite all your self-criticism Tish, I think it's an excellent piece of work - I couldn't do any better, so can't criticise it! Wink
Trev Smile
banehawi Plus
18 2.7k 4311 Canada
16 Jan 2017 2:15PM
Do you have an unprocessed version Tish, or is this close to the as shot version already?

Good advice re the 60mm macro.

What is the lighting set-up?

paulbroad Plus
14 131 1294 United Kingdom
16 Jan 2017 6:45PM
Of it's type, generally quite effective but it is over exposed. More density would give strong and richer colours, which could be very good indeed. I tend to findthese more of a tchnical exercise, but this should appeal a good deal to those liking abstract.

dark_lord Plus
18 2.9k 819 England
16 Jan 2017 9:19PM
I've not tried this myself, though I keep intending to try.

The shape of drops is not so easy to predict I know and a lot depends on timing and there are those who use remote triggering activated by noise or breaking an IR beam. Just enjoy the shapes you get, though with practice you should be able to trip the shutter just right.

I take it flash is set to Manual, as you then have full control over its intensity and can make informed adjustments and be able to repeat the setup another time.

You have some interesting colour effects, but if you're not happy then just use plain flash. Or just use one colour. There are so many different options you can confuse the whole thing if you try to be too complicated at the start. Build the lighting up gradually.

Essentially we're looking at close-up photography.
It may be that a longer lens will help with getting close to what you want. Even a zoom should focus close enough to get a reasonable size drop - you don't need to go to life size magnification.

It may be worth drawing out (even roughly) how you want the image to look, compare that with your results and then work out what you need to change in your setup - and of course use the Critique Gallery to help get you there.
rontear Plus
19 23 9 England
16 Jan 2017 10:28PM
Colourful droplet !! Tish, worth the grief !!
banehawi Plus
18 2.7k 4311 Canada
17 Jan 2017 2:06PM
Thanks for the original Tish, it really helps, and tells the story.

The size of the drop in the frame is too small, so you do need either a longer macro, or the tubes; tubes will get the image larger, but also places the lens closer, which risks splashing the lens. Cropping so close affects the quality of the image

The splash is sharp, well focused, and timing is spot on. Thats what most people get wrong.

The rest is all about lighting. The subject itself is not well lit, and there seems to be light everywhere except the slash, so understanding how you set the lighting is important, and an area to work on. Having to adjust the exposure to that extent also diminishes image quality

I reduced the image to mono, and tweaked lighting a bit just to eliminate distractions, and facilitate seeing the subject without distractions. You can see its quite good.

So from what I see, theres the two areas to focus (!) on, and starting with lighting is likely the one to start with as it needs no expense.


18 Jan 2017 2:08AM
24 Jan 2017 7:52AM
Tish thank you for voting on my photo i posted today .
About this magnificent photo of yours i can say that this kind of photo gives unpredictable results as to the size location and form of the drops. But this makes it unique and no matter how many frames you took in the burst mode (thats what i would use ), not one is the same with any other. Great job.

Savvas Stavrinos

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