How It Was Done: Water Drop Shot

Ok so I havent done one of these in a while and the entry’s for the Photo5 competition have closed so theoretically no one can copy this for the competition.

Anyway here is the finished image that I submitted to the competition….

Competition Brief: Eye Dropper

This brief is asking you to use your lens to look closer. Use the eye dropper to place drops of liquid in any arrangement you want. You can use a single drop, or as many drops as you like.

And you’re not limited to just water – feel free to use liquids of different colours and consistencies, such as milk or tomato soup. Just make sure you get close.

OK that seems simple enough…

I had the idea to suspend a drop of water from the head of a pin and using a slide projector somehow get an image into the drop (at this point I want to say that using Photoshop wasnt an option that I really wanted to use).

Equipment Used: Kinderman Slide Projector, Nikon D70s with 50mm f1.8, 2 x Nikon PK13 and 1 x PK12 Extension Tubes, Tripod, Cullman Macro Rail, Various supports like chairs, 1 x Pin, Bluetac and a 42″ translucent reflector (used later on)… Oh and various slides.

So I set up the projector at the same height as the camera and blasted a slide onto the drop of water (which took at least 15 minutes to get to stay on the head of the pin) which produced the following image.

Even at 1/5000th of a second this was about as good as it got… Not really the look I was going for…

Step 2: Place a 42″ reflector in front of the projector to act as a screen… At the moment the projector is about 1.5 metres away from the water droplet.

Ok at this point I stop thinking “what the heck am I doing this is never going to work I must be crazy”! And start seeing a small glimmer of hope projected down a very bright slide projector.

However still not really what I had in mind when I initially set out.

Step 3: Time to move everything back away from the projector… now about 3 metres away still with the reflector in front acting as a screen.

I keep forgetting stuff… The slide was projected onto the screen upside down so that it was right side up in the droplet.

OK now we are cooking but still not quite right.

This is what the setup currently looks like (the images are from a point and shoot so sorry about quality/focus issues)

My studio is soooo sophisticated 🙂

Who needs a macro lens when you have a bazillion extension tubes…

Opps almost forgot to say that I added a small pop of speedlight at the pin just to give it a bit of a catch light.

Anyway I found that by moving a reflector backwards and forwards I could alter how much of the image would appear in the drop so after a lot of stuffing round (293 images from the first shot) this is the image that I liked the best…

This is the file straight off the camera with no processing

With a bit of straightening and a saturation boost and not to mention all the dust removal here we go 🙂

And before I forget here is a scan of the slide that I used…

All droplet shots on Nikon D70s with 50mm f1.8 Lens with 2 x Nikon PK13 + 1 PK12 Extension Tubes.

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4 responses

  1. really cool!

    27/10/2010 at 07:15

    • Cheers… Heres hoping it wins me a 5DMkII 🙂 Dreams are free!

      29/10/2010 at 09:57

  2. Great post, like your “how things were done”…. Have you ever thought about teaching Photography….? Your a natural….

    27/10/2010 at 12:26

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