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Thread: Question on freezing water droplet.

  1. #1
    Member Linnl71's Avatar
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    Default Question on freezing water droplet.

    Hi guys,

    I've taken interest in freezing water droplet.

    I'm using A230 with pop-up flash and shutter speed of 1/160s (fastest when enabled with flash already). However, no matter how many shots I've tried, I am still unable to capture a shot whereby the water droplet hits the pool of water.

    My question is, is 1/160s with flash fast enough to capture that moment or is it too slow ?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Question on freezing water droplet.

    i've also been thinking of trying such a shot... i think it's more of timing than anything. experts pls correct me if i'm wrong

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    Member Linnl71's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on freezing water droplet.

    I would post a picture of what I took if I could, but for some reason, flickr/photobucket/imageshack is unable to upload my picture :S.

    I have to agree with you about timing. Patience is very important as well. I made multiple attempts to capture what I want but still unable to. Therefore I conclude that is either my timing is not right, or my shutter speed is too slow, haha!

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    Default Re: Question on freezing water droplet.

    i think 1/160 may be too slow. But I guess you are limited by your flash. Why do you really need a flash? Try higher ISO and faster shutter w/o flash. I admit I never done this before.

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    Default Re: Question on freezing water droplet.

    Try bum up your ISO and use continous shooting mode, 2 frames have better chances than single shot.

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    Deregistered rgy1993's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on freezing water droplet.

    oh wow... 1/160... i think for water droplets you'd be talking 1/500 - 1/1000 kind of speed, i think instead of using the pop up flash... but a couple of really bright, like 30 watt or something light bulbs, get it to shine on the water droplet, and use just normal shutter speeds with a slightly higher iso. from there its really just timing..

    good luck

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    Member Linnl71's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on freezing water droplet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoppable View Post
    i think 1/160 may be too slow. But I guess you are limited by your flash. Why do you really need a flash? Try higher ISO and faster shutter w/o flash. I admit I never done this before.
    That's right, after all I'm only using the pop-up flash . I had to use the flash as I'd be taking my shot in the kitchen with very poor lighting. But you've got a point, I should try higher ISO and faster shutter w/o flash. I'll take note. Thanks for your advise!

    Quote Originally Posted by 3in1c View Post
    Try bum up your ISO and use continous shooting mode, 2 frames have better chances than single shot.
    That's right, I should look for other alternatives since my shutter speed setting is very limited with used with flash. Moreover, continuous shooting with flash is very very slow because the flash needs to charge 1st, haha.

    Thanks for the link, very very useful indeed. Greatly appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by rgy1993 View Post
    oh wow... 1/160... i think for water droplets you'd be talking 1/500 - 1/1000 kind of speed, i think instead of using the pop up flash... but a couple of really bright, like 30 watt or something light bulbs, get it to shine on the water droplet, and use just normal shutter speeds with a slightly higher iso. from there its really just timing..

    good luck
    Dang, and I thought 1/160 would be quite sufficient at first haha. No wonder I was unable capture that specific moment I wanted. Thanks for your advise, it seems the pop-up flash wouldn't be very useful in this situation since it limits the speed of my shutter.

    I'll give it a try and hopefully get a successful shot and then post it here if my picture can be uploaded .

    Thanks all for your constructive replies


    Shot with A230 + 18-55mm Kit lens
    Shutter speed 1/160s
    Aperture F5.6
    Flash enabled

    Finally managed to upload my picture with imageshack. This is a shot I took last night. I understand the droplet is OOF (probably due to insufficient DOF as F number was 5.6) but just thought I share my first try on water photography haha.

    Will try again soon with advises and techniques you all have suggested.
    Last edited by Linnl71; 11th August 2009 at 07:39 PM. Reason: Added picture

  9. #9
    Senior Member darrrrrrrrrr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on freezing water droplet.

    no you don't need a faster shutter speed than 1/160 because the flash duration is in the 1/thousandth of a second. you should kill off as much ambient light as possible (cover windows, etc) and rely on the flash pulse to freeze the motion of the water droplet. poor lighting in your kitchen is a good thing!

    i suspect your problem is the pre-flash (used to determine the appropriate level of flash exposure) causing a lag between the moment u press the shutter button and the final moment of exposure, thus resulting in you missing the splash moment.

    i suggest you either try to figure out the lag time and press the shutter button before the water droplet hits the water surface, or set up a rig that drips water droplets at regular intervals and try and try until you get 1 good shot.

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    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on freezing water droplet.

    if you need to freeze the movement of water droplet falling with flash photography, you are not depend on the camera shutter speed, but the short duration of the flash light.

    let says you have no issue of pacing your timing of triggering shutter, shutter lag, get the water in focus, enough depth of field. most probably you have too bright ambient light for causing "ghost" images of the water droplet.

    how to know whether is ambient light dark enough? just do a simple test, on the same set up, take a shot with the same setting but WITHOUT the flash, if you see the image is almost black out, that is the correct setting. but if you still can see some of the background or even droplets, that is the cause of "ghost" image.

    btw, another possible reason is your lens extended too much, blocking the built in flash to light on the water droplet.
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    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on freezing water droplet.

    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on freezing water droplet.

    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on freezing water droplet.

    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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    Member Linnl71's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on freezing water droplet.

    Awesome! Thanks for the tips and videos guys. Can't wait to get started, though only with my very simple humble step-up of:

    A230 with 18-55mm kit lens
    Pop-up flash
    Tripod
    Afew pieces of white paper
    Transparent blue cup.

    Will try tips and advises noted from all of you. Thank you all !

  15. #15
    Member Linnl71's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on freezing water droplet.


    Shot with A230 with 55-200mm kit lens
    ISO 100
    Shutter speed 1/160s
    Aperture F13.0
    Flash enabled.

    Tadah!

    Ok after many many attempts and over heating my flash (thank god it's still working). I finally managed to shoot something better and more focused (though still a bit soft). I won't say it's good though. So I'm still learning to improve on my future takes.

    I've tried not using flash with higher ISO and shutter speed with indoor lighting. However due to equipment constrains (not enough flash/light bulb for lighting). The picture will become either too dark or too noisy. So I still had to settle for the pop-up flash with very little ambient light.

    Well I would not have improved without the help from fellow CSers. So thanks all for your constructive suggestions and advises guys .
    Last edited by Linnl71; 12th August 2009 at 01:16 AM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Question on freezing water droplet.

    great attempt...
    think e next thing to try is to drop items into the water, example fruits like grapes or strawberry and capture the splash...

  17. #17
    Member Linnl71's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on freezing water droplet.

    Ya that's right! Would be interesting to take fruits as well too. Just got to plan of my set-up though, hhmm..

  18. #18

    Default Re: Question on freezing water droplet.

    might want to drop a durian in too? :P

  19. #19
    Senior Member darrrrrrrrrr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on freezing water droplet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Linnl71 View Post

    Shot with A230 with 55-200mm kit lens
    ISO 100
    Shutter speed 1/160s
    Aperture F13.0
    Flash enabled.

    Tadah!

    Ok after many many attempts and over heating my flash (thank god it's still working). I finally managed to shoot something better and more focused (though still a bit soft). I won't say it's good though. So I'm still learning to improve on my future takes.

    I've tried not using flash with higher ISO and shutter speed with indoor lighting. However due to equipment constrains (not enough flash/light bulb for lighting). The picture will become either too dark or too noisy. So I still had to settle for the pop-up flash with very little ambient light.

    Well I would not have improved without the help from fellow CSers. So thanks all for your constructive suggestions and advises guys .
    nicely done! i think you're on the right track with the use of the flash to freeze motion.

    think the softness is probably due to still too much ambient lighting "contaminating" your shot. try to get the surroundings even darker on yr next try.

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    Default Re: Question on freezing water droplet.

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    OOT abit.
    anyone knows what kind of ballhead is that?

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