Critique My first keeper of a three-drop collision

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The last image isn't a classic look of a collision but at least it's my first and only keeper of a three-drop collision. I think I can enhance my chances of getting more keepers of three-drop collisions by using a more powerful flash output. Doing so will cause the light emitted by the flash to last longer and give me a longer window of time to catch all three drops colliding. (Every extra millisecond of time, though ever so brief, will enhance my chances.) I'll also have to look up how long a particlar output lasts so I know what the timing of all three drops should be. I should have thought about all of that before trying to do this, huh. :eek: If anyone has experience doing this stuff, I'm all eyes and ears.

In summary, the first four photos display the results of two of the three drops colliding. The last photo displays the result of all three colliding.

Photo #1
Mike 2020-06-28--009-S.jpg
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Photo #2
Mike 2020-06-28--038-S.jpg
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Photo #3
Mike 2020-06-28--040-S.jpg
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Photo #4
Mike 2020-06-28--053-S.jpg
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Photo #5: a three-drop collision
Mike 2020-06-28--058-S.jpg
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Butlerkid

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Impressive, Mike! (Maybe I should just leave out the comma.....! LOL!)

#4 is my fav, but I can see endless possibilities for a 3 drop collision.
 
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Thank you to Nick and Karen!

Impressive, Mike! (Maybe I should just leave out the comma.....! LOL!)
More likely that you should just leave out the first word and the comma. :ROFLMAO:

I can see endless possibilities for a 3 drop collision.
I've actually seen only one formation that is identified as a three-drop collision being formed from one bottle. (Lots of people use at least three bottles to form them.) I produced a very similar formation using only two drops, so I'm not yet sure capturing a three-drop collision is special other than the technical feat of making it happen.
 
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I think I can enhance my chances of getting more keepers of three-drop collisions by using a more powerful flash output. Doing so will cause the light emitted by the flash to last longer and give me a longer window of time to catch all three drops colliding. (Every extra millisecond of time, though ever so brief, will enhance my chances.) I'll also have to look up how long a particlar output lasts so I know what the timing of all three drops should be. I should have thought about all of that before trying to do this, huh. :eek: If anyone has experience doing this stuff, I'm all eyes and ears.
Using a stronger flash output will be similar to using a slower shutter speed for sports - there will simply be more blur, besides being able to close your aperture down and achieve greater depth of field.
As an example this is the flash duration at the various outputs of a Nikon SB800.
When there is no other ambient then camera shutter speed no longer comes into play while your flash provides all the light and effectively becomes your "shutter speed" that determines how much movement you see in the image.
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Using a stronger flash output will be similar to using a slower shutter speed for sports - there will simply be more blur
My experience in my first 20 sessions is the same as what I have consistently read: If I use no more than 1/32 power output, the action will be stopped with no blur. Most of the time I used outputs in a range of 1/128 to 1/64.
 
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Well done.
I have only played a little with water drops, never to this degree. But I did play with paint splatters for about a year. Basically stretched a rubber diaphragm over a speaker and ran a tone generator which scattered the paint all over the place. I found when I went to a longer flash duration I got too much blur, so I ended up using as many as 5 flashes all at lowest setting/ shortest duration.
In your case I would try using longer flash duration with your present setup and see how much blur you can tolerate. Only change one variable at a time.
We are all enjoying your journey
Gary
 
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Thanks, Gary!

Only change one variable at a time.
That's been my mantra ever since I first began even thinking about the process I would use to learn how to make drop art photos. Another way of putting it is that I do everything taking baby steps one at a time.

Lately I've been using up to four flash units, one to light a translucent background from behind when a bright background is desired, and up to three units to directly light the subject. I can easily imagine situations when I'll want up to another two flash units.
 
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With my old setup- everything was in manual. 4 of the flashes were just slaves, one flash was triggered by a sound trigger. I found offbrand flashes from ebay- often used- worked fine for the slaves. None of the slaves cost more than $35. The more the merrier. I stopped as the images all started to look the same, you have more variables with the water drops- and less mess. I might have to try this sometime, but you make it look easy- and it is not.
gary
 
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With my old setup- everything was in manual. 4 of the flashes were just slaves, one flash was triggered by a sound trigger.
I'm using Yongnuo flash units with built-in radio receivers. A Yongnuo radio transmitter is mounted onto the camera's hot shoe. I control all of the flash units' power output and zoom settings from the transmitter. Each flash unit can have completely different settings. All of my exposure settings whether on the camera or the flash units is in Manual mode. In fact, the flash units have no TTL or auto metering.
 
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My experience in my first 20 sessions is the same as what I have consistently read: If I use no more than 1/32 power output, the action will be stopped with no blur. Most of the time I used outputs in a range of 1/128 to 1/64.
Yeah, 1/128th on an SB800 is 1/41600th sec and is really fast, though it still can't freeze all the movement in breaking glass it is fast enough for most high speed photography.
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The only specs I could find provided by Yongnuo for my flash units is that the duration ranges from 1/200s to 1/20,000s. Andy Gock did some testing and came up with the following numbers:

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