Share How to begin making water drop photos?

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Even though I've got only one keeper so far, I've already got a tip that might be helpful for manually focusing the lens: Using gaffer's tape, I very lightly taped a wooden skewer hanging from the water drop dispenser's spout. The lens is focused on the skewer where it meets the water surface or is close to it. Gaffer's tape leaves no residue unless it's left in place for days and the skewer is so light that only a tiny piece of tape is needed. Worked like a charm!
 
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The replacement cable that connects the MIOPS water drop controller and the flash unit arrived. Even though neither my wife nor I was able to tighten the original cable to the flash unit (the tightening mechanism didn't seem to work properly), my first try using the replacement cable worked fine and was easy to use. I take back my earlier comment about this industry standard being so ineffective.

My only complaint about the replacement cable is that it is coiled to allow for easy storage whereas the original cable is straight (not coiled). The coiled cable is as long as the straight cable only when it is fully stretched. Hopefully I can get it to relax by stretching it and hopefully stretching it won't damage it.
 
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After having great success yesterday, today was a total failure.

I changed the composition I was planning to photograph, which required moving the camera farther away from the falling water drop. Using just one drop (that's what I did yesterday), I spent a couple hours systematically though unsuccessfully trying to get a combination of drop size and the amount of time of the delay between the drop and the firing of the flash. I was never able to capture the drop when it was within the frame. That's despite that with only a modest amount of experimentation, I was able to easily accomplish it yesterday.

I had been working in a dark room so I turned on the light. That was when I could easily see that the drop of water was falling after the flash was firing. (It's supposed to be the other way around.) Then all of a sudden the water drop controller began dispensing a stream of water that lasted almost an entire second even though it was configured to release a drop for 50ms. Then the app indicated that the battery capacity dropped immediately from 97% to 45%. When I removed the back of the case to take a look at the battery, it seemed that it had not been properly seated. After seating it properly, the indicator displayed that its capacity was at about 75%. At that rate, I would have to replace the battery every four sessions, which would be a surprise to me. Even so, the controller was still releasing a stream of water rather than a drop.

I went to my local grocery store hoping to buy a replacement battery just to see if that would solve the problem. They don't stock the required size.

I contacted MIOPS.

Nobody promised that this would always be easy. :ROFLMAO:
 
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I went to my local grocery store hoping to buy a replacement battery just to see if that would solve the problem. They don't stock the required size.
As soon as my wife walked in the door, she told me that we already have batteries in the proper size. Indeed, they are exactly where they are supposed to be: in the battery organizer that I bought for her and hung on the wall for her. Sheesh!

Though the app says the new battery is at 100% capacity, the device still dispenses a big stream of water instead of a drop. I'm reasonably confident the device is simply defective, as that's the kind of thing that can so often be discovered very soon after using it the first time.
 
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The manufacturer asked me to remove the Splash unit's valve and clean it. That procedure is no big deal, as it is required every time the unit is used with any liquid other than 100% water. The valve was already perfectly clean to the eye, which was to be expected considering that I had used the unit only once and only with water. Even so, I ran water through the valve from a faucet with the idea that the force of the water might remove something inside the valve that I couldn't see. After doing all of that, the unit still did not function properly.

Within a few hours of reporting that information to MIOPS, they committed to sending a new unit to me free of charge (my unit is still under warranty). I'm looking forward to getting on with Phase 2 of my little adventure into water drop photography, especially considering that Phase 1 was so short-lived.

Drip, drip, drip. Drop, drop, drop. :)

Apologies to the Cafe Drinking Support Team that I had no use for them over the weekend. 🍷 🍺
 
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I received the replacement water drop kit yesterday and tried it for the first time today. It also doesn't work properly but it has a different set of problems. I wrote to the manufacturer to tell them that I'm willing to try only one more kit but that if they want to give up now rather than send a third device, that's also fine with me.
 
MIOPS has agreed to refund my purchase price of the Splash kit. I have been using another product of theirs since August 2017 and it works fine, so the failure of two of their Splash kits is probably an anomaly, especially considering that it has been on the market at least a couple years.

I'm now researching other water drop kits and am surprised that so few appear to be on the market. If you know of other water drop kits, please let us know!

Mumford Time Machine
Jack uses this but Mumford stopped making it in 2019

Pluto
Chris uses this (and it's compatible with both my phone and camera). Unlike the MIOPS system that can release up to four drops, this releases only up to two drops. [EDIT: Chris explains that it releases up to three drops.] Unlike the MIOPS system, its trigger can be used on its own for many types of photography other than water drop photography. $159 including water drop valve and trigger

Cognisys StopShot
Does not use a smart phone; everything is connected via cables. Unlike the MIOPS system, it can be used for many types of photography other than water drop photography.
  • $400 including water drop valve and trigger. I think allows only one water drop but additional valves for additional drops can be added at an extra cost. Controlled by StopShot hardware.
  • $500 including water drop valve and trigger. Same as $400 unit except that it is controlled from a computer.
  • $800 including three water drop valves and trigger. Same as $500 unit but has three valves for dispensing up to three water drops.
 
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Another water drop kit:

MJKZZ
Does not use a smart phone; uses a remote IR control. The entry-level kit has one valve that can dispense up to three drops. The kit includes a controller that sets parameters for up to three valves, allowing the system to be expanded with up to two more valves without having to purchase a new controller. $195
 
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Chris
MIOPS has agreed to refund my purchase price of the Splash kit. I have been using another product of theirs since August 2017 and it works fine, so the failure of two of their Splash kits is probably an anomaly, especially considering that it has been on the market at least a couple years.

I'm now researching other water drop kits and am surprised that so few appear to be on the market. If you know of other water drop kits, please let us know!

Mumford Time Machine
Jack uses this but Mumford stopped making it in 2019

Pluto
Chris uses this (and it's compatible with both my phone and camera). Unlike the MIOPS system that can release up to four drops, this releases only up to two drops. Unlike the MIOPS system, its trigger can be used on its own for many types of photography other than water drop photography. $159 including water drop valve and trigger

Cognisys StopShot
Does not use a smart phone; everything is connected via cables. Unlike the MIOPS system, it can be used for many types of photography other than water drop photography.
  • $400 including water drop valve and trigger. I think allows only one water drop but additional valves for additional drops can be added at an extra cost. Controlled by StopShot hardware.
  • $500 including water drop valve and trigger. Same as $400 unit except that it is controlled from a computer.
  • $800 including three water drop valves and trigger. Same as $500 unit but has three valves for dispensing up to three water drops.
Mike,
Pluto can drop 3 drops (not two). So far, I haven’t had any issues with my unit. My complaints are the circuit board isn’t protected (no case surrounding it, it is just exposed where it’s mounted) which could lead to damage if your not careful, and the battery is non standard (can’t remember the size designation but it’s what is used in a garage door opener). If I can answer any other questions about it or if you want to video chat and see the setup etc let me know and I’d be happy to help any way I can.
 
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Thanks, Chris!

Pluto can drop 3 drops (not two).
That's great to know. Their documentation mentions only the possibility of one or two drops, so I assumed that is the limitation.

the circuit board isn’t protected (no case surrounding it, it is just exposed where it’s mounted)
That's not good to know, mostly because of the inadequacies of my makeshift studio and my own inadequacies; I'm a total klutz and the small size of my makeshift studio with tripod legs and light stand legs seemingly everywhere exacerbate my ability to accidentally knock and juggle things.

Right now I'm leaning toward the MJKZZ product mostly because it has the flexibility to be easily expanded into three valves. That's despite that it's a little bit more costly than the Pluto at the outset. Though each of the extra valves will cost even more money, I have that option of expanding the system if I really get into this stuff and became like a mad scientist that can't be constrained doing the relatively simple stuff. They also make a six-valve controller, but even I can't imagine going to that extreme (at least not yet :eek: ) .
 
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"Ultimate Guide to Water Drop Photography"
I realize there is a lot of free information available but decided to purchase this PDF at a cost of USD $16 (Canadian $20). The photography is nothing short of stunning and, after only glancing through it, the information seems complete. It includes a pictorial explanation of how the shape of a water drop develops from its beginning to its end, lighting setups using at least up to four flash units, settings for the camera and drop controller, why and how to use liquids other than water, creating a water drop that acts as a lens to display an image with it, and the like.

The author now uses the MJKZZ water drop kit but she made all the photos displayed in her PDF using the Mumford Time Machine (no longer available).

Available at https://www.liquiddropart.com/Publications/Ebook/
 
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Hey guys been a while since posting life got in the way but I’m in the middle of making a newer water drop rig and I can highly recommend the Cognisys StopShot.
I have the new Studio version for the new setup.
With the new rig I will be shooting the water up to collide with water dropping using specially made 3d nozzles.
Still a week or two away from finishing the rig, frustrating waiting for stuff to arrive.

Al
 
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We look forward to your photos, Al!



What are StopShot's characteristics that justify it being twice as expensive as its competitors for a starter kit?
The StopShot can be expanded to use 3 valves the timing can be set to do drop on drop on drop, if you get the smaller drop machines you are limited as to what you can do then you will want more so then you will have to upgrade so more money,,,,,,,buy right buy once.

Al
 
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Hi Al. Great to hear from you. Cheers.
Thank you Sir been a while, sold our business had another heart operation taking advantage of retirement so many trips away, built a large shed to hide in when the wife wants me to do something, just the normal stuff.

Al
 
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