Experiments with water and light

Water drop

Water drop

I thought I’d try my hand at a little macro photography and decided to have a go at capturing water drops. An initially frustrating but ultimately rewarding afternoon followed.

The recipe which worked for me was using a Canon 5D MkII DSLR with 100mm macro lens attached, set at ISO 100, f/13 and 1/200s. Illumination was a Speedlite 580EX flash set on 1/4 power and bounced off a reflector behind the dish of water. Water drops came from a plastic bag filled with water in which I’d made a small hole. Camera triggered manually using a cable release.

An invaluable aid was Lightroom 3’s new ‘tethered shooting’ mode, which allows you to see your shots in close to real time on an attached laptop’s full size screen. Much easier to judge whether the focus is off than peering at the back of the camera.

I also created some more colourful shots, covering the white reflector with different coloured plastic A4 sleeves. A selection of the best images I managed to produce can be found here at my Flickr account.