I have always been fascinated by Macro -Photography, and water splashes
especially. I think they can make wonderful images, with textures, tones and
curves. I recently bought a new lens for my camera, a 150mm macro lens. With the
new lens mounted on the front of my camera, I decided it was time to try my hand
at these wonderful water splashes I had been seeing.
I got a 10 inch green plastic bowl and put about 3 inches of water in it. I mounted my camera on a tripod. Placed a large reversible reflector 12 inches behind the bowl and then mounted my flashgun off to the right of the camera with a hot shoe cable. The flash was pointed at the reflector, rather than directly at the bowl, so any flash was reflected light.
I then suspended a plastic bag of water about 3 feet above the surface of the bowl. I then made a single pin hole in the bag and got a steady stream of drops.
Focus – Focusing on the exact spot that the drops were landing was tricky, and I was using manual focus. I finally decided I needed something to get a more exact focus. I took a wooden skewer and push a bobble headed pin into it.
I then held this until the water drops were hitting it exactly at the surface of the water, I then manually focused on the pin head.
I used a cable release once I was focused, and watched the drips without having to look through the view finder. After a while you get a sense of timing and know when to release the shutter.
With a 150mm focal length macro lens I was able to have a working distance of around 3 feet for these drops, so the camera was safely out reach of the water splashes.
Coloring: The water drops can be colored in a few different ways, the ones I have seen or read about are:
Gel Packs, put colored gels over the flash heads. (haven’t tried this.)
Colored Reflectors – you can use colored cards to bounce the light back onto the subject.
Camera White Balance – The pale blue splash is the same green bowl, this time with a silver reflector and setting the camera white balance to Tungsten light. The camera changes the hue as it is expecting the image to be very yellow from tungsten lighting and give a much different result from the normal WB setting.
I shot the pictures in RAW and manual mode on the camera. I set the camera as fast as the flash would allow me, 1/250th on my 50D.
Settings: Fully Manual, F9 to F11, 1/250th, ISO 100
Equipment: 50D, Sigma 150mm F2.8 Macro lens and Canon 580 EXII
Have fun trying, I shot just over 200 images in about 3 hours.