A bit cliché, but my own little attempt

So there I was, no work to do today, with nothing but awful daytime TV and pouring rain out. I was just getting my camera gear out to get the batteries charged for work tomorrow and I thought I’d conduct a little experiment on the kitchen table.

Now I’m sure that you have no doubt seen this sort of thing before, probably a few times.  But anyway here’s my attempt.

For the first few shots I used a red napkin at the back of an oven tray full of water to give a red reflection on the water. The ribbed texture of the napkin gave some really great swirling effects on the surface of the water.

This one shows the classic “crown”. The water droplets came from a crudely constructed tin foil bowl with a pin hole in, suspended above the oven tray by a cunningly constructed frame of cardboard boxes and coat-hangers.

Now as you can imaging capturing this precise moment takes a bit of patience.  I used a variety of lenses and focal lengths to try and get as much of the droplet in the frame and still be able to focus.  I would love to have a really great macro lens for this close up work but I had to make do with my 70-200 mounted on my tripod about one meter away and zoomed in.

This next one is a fairly similar setup but the second instant I wanted to capture was something I didn’t believe could occur until I saw a super slow motion video on the sort of daytime TV I was avoiding today.

Moments after the water droplet hits the surface below, it actually “bounces” off the surface. Now you will have to take my word for it that the droplets you see on the picture above  aren’t on their way down, they have already hit the surface and are on their way up! They did of course come back down again,  I haven’t quite mastered the anti-gravity experiment yet, work is ongoing.

For those of you interested in the technical details for this shoot,  here is a brief description of the setup.

As I mentioned, I was using a 70-200 at the full zoom. I used a small aperture to keep the DOF as wide as possible, something between f/8 – f/22, depending on the exposure. I was using my D7000 with the onboard flash as a trigger for my SB-800. This was positioned off to the far left at the back of the water tray, facing a flat surface (cardboard box with a napkin over it).  My D7000 and SB-800 sync at a maximum of 1/320 second (when not mounted on the camera itself) using the fancy FP flash setting.  One day I hope to own a set of pocket wizards.  After hearing about their fantastic 1/8000 second sync capability from James and Ferg. I am a bit jealous!

Anyways, that’s enough of the mumbo jumbo, back to the photos.  After getting the two shots I was looking for I had a little more time before I had to clear the kitchen table to make room for tea (chicken nuggets and chips, kids tea!). I decided to change the lighting a little.  I ditched the trusty red napkin and added a warming filter to the SB-800 to give a golden glow to the water.  I would say I did this on purpose to reflect the regal nature of the “crown”, but for those of you that know me, I don’t think like that, it just seemed to me that it would look good.

I think this one is pretty much exactly what I was looking for.

So there it is, not exactly the most productive afternoon, but much more so than watching endless repeats on e4!

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