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Lighting is Easy Blog

Free resource for learning how to use off-camera flash and studio lighting.

Photographing water drops the easy way

Chuck Vosburgh - Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Photo: ©Elaine Larimer
The setup is too simple; you set up a pan with water in it. Above that you hang a plasic bag filled with water and poke a hole with a needle to get a drip every second or so. With your camera on a tripod, you just start shooting and shoot until your card is full. Some of them will be keepers. Just that easy.

The setup

Here's a photo of the setup. I made the colored reflectors in Photoshop and printed them out on plain paper.

Some examples

Here are the technical info for Elaine Larimer's shots:

Canon 40D; 1/125 sec; F/6.3; Shutter priority; ISO 100, focal length 300mm on a Tamron 28-300 lens; Flash fired

Photos ©2009 Elaine Larimer

Final thoughts:

It seems that the shots looked best when the flash is set to a very low power setting since the duration of the flash is shorter at lower power. A tripod is a must. It's okay to use a low ISO because you'll be limited by the camera's maximum shutter sync speed anyway. As always, experimentation and patience are the keys to success. If you don't have a way to get your flash off your camera, you can still get great results with your flash on-camera.

Give it a try!

To see more of Elaine's work, click here.

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