To all ye who want to paint with light ...

I should have started this blog many moons ago as I started experiencing the joys of rediscovering the art of photography. But as the saying goes - it's better late, than never!
So, here I am, in the hopes of recording what I learn as I progress from ignorance to enlightenment; about what my eyes can see that my camera can capture; and, what my mind imagines and my camera paints with its capabilities.

Please feel free to add any comments and share your wisdom (tips or tricks) that you have picked up along the way.

And do check out my How-To and Birding pages as well.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Water droplets

Ok.. so my latest obsession is with water droplets - the first project was to capture the water droplets and freeze the motion which I spent ages on doing.  I even went and got myself the faster lens when I realized that my kit lens is no match for the kind of speed I need and the precision.  I spent hours trying to get one droplet to form, but it was a no-show.

I got images like this and didn't just get to see the droplets bounce off the surface of the water.  I was using a piece of rag supersaturated with water and dropping big drops into the bowl.  Somehow, didn't work no matter how hard I tried.

I finally got a bit of action - but not enough to make me happy. I applied post-processing to this to bring out the highlights.

The next thing I did was to buy a tripod and then subsequently the faster lens for the next set.  I set up my little gig in the kitchen, for want of a better place, and I still got a bit of glare in the water since my kitchen lighting wasn't the best.  But I did get the effect I was after.

This was the ripple when the droplet hit the surface

This was caught in motion

The trick was to use big drops of water, a continuous shooting mode on shutter priority.  And I always use a timer on the camera when trying to take these precision shots.  It avoids all the camera shake that you can possibly avoid.  And oh, the mirror lock-up if it's available on your camera is another good way to avoid the minutest of shakes when the shutter drops.

Now the project I then decided to undertake was capturing reflections in a water droplet.  Simple trick that yields beautiful results.

At 1:30 am my creative juices started flowing (as they are always wont to do at that ungodly hour) and I staged this - I sprayed water on one of my more colourful plants and then looked for the reflection.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that my kit lens ( I was too lazy to switch to my zoom lens) took fairly decent macro-style shots of the droplets.  I shot in raw, but didn't shoot in the highest quality.  Therefore, I lost some resolution when cropping the photo to make the droplet stand out.

Here's a sampling of what I got from my first attempt.  Click on the photos if you want to enlarge them.

Watch out for the drops hanging from the leaf as well.  Each of them has a reflection, but it's not all that clear in this pic since I only used a single point of focus here.  The little hint of blue is actually the placemat on the table that's being reflected in the drops.

Look at the drop running down the stem. 

The second drop of water almost running off the stem, but the reflection is still visible.

Here's the last one of the crop

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