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How could I make this picture better?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by wgilles, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. wgilles


    Apr 25, 2008
    I decided to mess around with some water drop photography. Anyway, I wasn't really happy with the result. I used an SB-600 with a sync time of 1/200. I used aperture f/11 I think. Do you think better lighting would allow a f/22 aperture to get the whole thing in focus...not quite sure where to start?

  2. I confess that I have never attempted that kind of shot, but I can suggest that the best way to improve that shot compositionally would be to shoot against a monocolor pool bottom.

    The busy red pattern distracts the eye from the water droplet. Seems to me that the impact of such a photo should come from the falling droplet and subsequent geometric rippling.

    Nonetheless - certainly an interesting shot. Might have to take a crack at this type of photography as well. You have piqued my interest for sure.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2008
  3. x272221713x

    x272221713x Guest

    Wow..cool, man I've tried that and still hasn't happened to me yet. I also agree with RickW the red was kinda distracting, but still great pic!
  4. Hi,

    I did some of shots like this last winter. This way:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    You may have a look here to see more: http://upload.pbase.com/edit_gallery/mattes/water

    In my opinion, the image is far too dark. In addition, the angle is not very spectacular with this kind of lens.

    Ideal would be a macro lens, but a simple 50 mm will do the trick also. Try to get as near as possible, and a little bit above water level.

    If you position the flash 90 degrees left or right from the cam (triggered by cable or radio), you'll get more contrast.

    The key is the shutter time: sync times are too short (if not using a camera with electronical shutter like D1X or D70). So, the time the flash is emitting light will determine the "frozen" effect of the water drop.

    To achieve this, set the camera to (M)anual, set shutter time to 1/200 (safe when using flash) and the aperture to a value which allows a proper rendition of the "target area". The drop falling into the water will be lit by the flash light, which is a lot shorter than the shutter time.

    To reduce the flash intensity (this speeds up the light emission), put the flash as near as possible (without drowning it of course). At 1/64 power you'll get a light emission time of about 1/1500 of a second.

    I hope, you could follow my ideas - not easy for me in your language. Feel free to ask, if something remains open.


  5. rocketliv

    rocketliv Guest

    I can see how the red would be distracting but I also find it very intriguing. I think it you found a brighter spot to shoot, it would work better. This photo is very dark with little contrast to see the ripple effect you are getting.
  6. wgilles


    Apr 25, 2008
    Awesome tips mattes. I will give that all a try today. I think I will try shooting outside, it is very bright today so I'll see how it turns out. Or at least near a window.
  7. GBRandy


    Feb 28, 2006
    Green Bay, WI
    Actually the trick with these shots is not in the camera. It is in the flash.

    Bright light "lasts" longer...if you know what I mean. A small burst has a short duration. A bright burst has a longer one. To freeze a drop such as this you need to set your flash at it's lowest possible setting. Adjust your SS & AV manually to properly expose the image. A SS of 1/60th is not unreasonable.

    To really complete the effect and eliminate any stray lighting illuminating and blurring my subject, I shoot my water shots with all of the room light off...in almost complete darkness lit only by a small flashlight.

    A nice tripod & cable release and you all all set............

    here is an oldy I did a while back..... I think I was at 1/120, f8 and the SB800 at 1/128th power.....mind you I only used PS for the frame & name.

  8. mr2monster


    Jun 29, 2007
    That is a KICK *** picture!

  9. Nice shot, Randy. And some good suggestions from everyone. I think the colored water also works better.
  10. Loki_D_Wolf

    Loki_D_Wolf Guest


    Just chiming in so I can refer to this as a reference later. Carry on folks. :) 
  11. wgilles


    Apr 25, 2008
    Wow that is awesome. I think I will to try something like that as well.
  12. x272221713x

    x272221713x Guest

    GBRandy Great pic!! Looks great
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