12. juli 2012

Droplet Collisions


Been a while since the last entry now.

Basically I had a photo-assignment in June in Hardanger and then I went for a two-week a holliday-trip, so there wasn't really much to blog about.

Anyway, a few entries back, I got a tip (and I took it as a challenge as well :P) about droplet photography. And since it's raining like crazy here, what better subject to shoot than water-drops?

Le green snake
The last time I tried was.....well it was a fairly long time ago, I stopped, because of various things and activities, but mainly because I had problems controlling viscosity and "stickyness" of the water.

This resulted in, kind of, boring stuff.
Anyway, after some research from the tip/challenge ( ;) ), I dug out my drop-catching/collision kit, brushed some dust off it and cleaned it, before I set it up again.

 Challenges right now, are:
1. Controlling splash-stem height, other than altering the height of the rig.

2. Viscosity and stickiness of the drop-water influence what size of drop that can be made, this again (it seems) influences 1). Drop size is also dependant of nozzle size ^^

3. Too "thick" water creates problems getting two drops to fall fast enough after each other, because they take too much time to be created and release from the nozzle.

4. Experimenting with the surface tension of the capture-tray water, have some unknown effects (for me) at the moment. I've tried thickening the tray-water (resulting in a lower splash-stem). But, reducing it with dishwasher liquid doesn't seem to have any practical influences, as far as I can see anyway, I may have used to little dishwasher?

5. My rig is flimsy! I need to build something that can be adjusted in height, as well as being tight and controllable. Right now, the drops seem to fall a bit randomly, as the nozzle angle varies to the capture tray each time I change the water or make adjustments. :)

I even created a double-baffle macro softbox exclusively for the drop photos, works very well with the speedlights and it isn't too large. (more on that in a later post I suppose).

- If anyone has any good tips on how to get the drop-stems higher, please contact me. Right now, I am gradually decreasing viscosity to the drop-water to create bigger drops, in hope that they will jump higher.
I am already at about 60cm nozzle-height above the surface water and the drops doesn't seem to want to jump that high really, they aren't even releasing from the stem on the way up for some reason.

- It's a slow, meticulous process....but it's fun. :)

Oh, here are some of the photos I've created so far.
I've only used photoshop to clean up the background and removing splatter and bubbles in the tray, the shapes and colours are as-shot.

Golden Vase

Rocket punch

Purple light

Red tree

Blue sombrero
I'd like to recreate the rocket-punch thing, but that was a pure fluke, so I am not sure how I did that one (drop height was around 70cm though, so 60cm should create something similar as well).

As for the light on these, I used two speedlights (580 EX and 580EX II) triggered by my Pocketwizard II triggers. The last two photos were shot with the home-made softbox on one of the speedlights.

Here is an amazing video of some droplet collisions

Peace out. =)

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