Saturday, August 28, 2010

Week 6 - Water Droplets

This week I managed to get some time in the house, received the old school Nikon SB-25 speedlight from E-bay and borrowed a flash trigger from a friend in the office. And voila! A cool water drop photo is what I did for my weekly project.

Settings: f13, 1/200sec., ISO 100
Post process: Cropping in LightRoom 2 and watermarked with Picmarkr

Settings: f13, 1/200sec., ISO 100
Post process: Cropping in LightRoom 2 and watermarked with Picmarkr


Nikon D90
AF-S DX 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Nikon SB-25 Speedlight
TwinLink Wireless Flash Trigger
Bowl (covered with a anything black)
Sandwich plastic bag
Rubber bands
Safety pin
Red & orange shirt
and lots of perseverance plus a bag of patience!


1. Find a good spot where you can hang something or ask somebody to help you hold it. Half-fill the tray and the sandwich bag with water. Tighten the sandwich bag and suspend it with rubber band. Place it in the middle of the tray making sure it won’t fall of. I covered the bowl with black so that the backdrop color will be maximized, otherwise the edges could be seen. A colorful pattern can also be used instead.

2. Prepare the tripod, flash trigger, lens and camera. Assemble the flash trigger as indicated in the manual. Assuming the lens is properly fixed with the camera, set it slightly elevated from the tray.

3. Get your backdrop. I used a red and orange shirt. If you have something with a colorful pattern it will turn out nice too.

4. Position the speedlight towards the backdrop. The backdrop shall be aimed at not the water.

5. Poke the sandwich bag with a safety pin. Do not poke too big as the water will run too fast. Do not poke too little as it will be difficult to time each drop.

6. Automatic focus the camera to where the drop is. When a good focus is achieved, put it on manual. I recommend shutter speed that’s complementing the speedlight. With the D90, 1/200sec is good. Aperture could vary and ISO settings to the lowest.

7. Time to shoot! This is where the perseverance and patience come in. After some good timing, you will come up with water droplets in mid-air.

8. The most important of all ingredients – towel. This is to assure any spilled water won’t be there in our precious gadgets.

This is the basic in liquid drops... a lot more can be done. Say, use milk dropped with dates..... Apple dropped with water.... Let's not limit our imagination. Enjoy!


  1. Nice one paps. This looks difficult but from your steps, seems easy. I've always wondered how to do this. Kelangan pala ng trigger and off camera ang flash.

    Keep up the good works. I'm following your posts every week. Haha.. for friendship's sake but for improvement ko rin.

  2. Thanks Carlo... Kaya inspired ako magshoot for my blog every week kasi it's also a way to release tension from work and for friends like you. May nag-aappreciate din pala ng shots ko. Thanks friend!

    Expect a more creative project next week.

  3. Time warp! Galing! Didn't know you have a talent in photography. Unleash some more.

    I'm looking forward for next week.

  4. Strobist ka pala paps! This is a very nice set up and not bad for a hobbiest!

  5. @Jason - thanks man!
    @Maricon - I like strobist and one light setup... Alam mo naman this hobby is expensive kaya have to maximise the gadgets lang. If you may notice, hindi latest ang gadgets ko. Mainly because I don't want to go full blast in the gadget... practice muna and let's see.

  6. You haven't changed paps! You still are good in money. Everything well spent.

  7. @Maricon - I learned it from you. Birds of a feather (flock together).

  8. May I join the flock? I'm amaze with this. Can you do smoke next time?

  9. @Bernie - will try to research on smoke photography. No promises.


  10. very omoshiroi shashin ne!

  11. @Mike - thanks... was that japanese?

  12. Yes paps... smoke naman for next week.

  13. do you have a flickr account?

  14. To my anonymous reader,

    Sorry, I don't have a flickr account. I'm in UAE and it's officially blocked by the government. They consider it as having maliscious content and endangers their beliefs.

  15. Guys,,, these were the comments from NEMs place.. I personally like how they critisize whatever I submit. Very helpful. See it for yourself.

    "I really like the colors and how you captured the drops (aren't flashes wonderful!)

    However, there's three things I'd like to see different.

    1- Straighten it. The drops should be vertical.
    2- The drops are way off to the right... a little too much. I'd take some of the left off to get the drops more on the thirds line. It's just a bit wide for here anyway.
    3- Scrolling around it seems that there's too much empty black up top. Trim some of it off.

    Other than those nits, I think you did a great job." - Doc

    copy paste the address in your browser for other comments:

  16. Paps, sino si Doc? Looks like he's well experienced in photography? I didn't notice na baliko nga ang water drops mo.... pero totality ng shot, works great for me.

    I'm really looking forward sa smoke mo... I tried that before. I was unsuccessful. Do a step by step procedure like this.... so I can give it a second chance.