Oliver Morton  

Colliding Drops of Water by Oliver Morton

May 2020 - Colliding Drops of Water

May 2020 - Oliver Morton


About the Image(s)

In the past few months I tried water drop photography. It's a fascinating project that requires a great deal of patience. I bought some of the less expensive equipment for this experiment. Nonetheless, it was quite impressive. Using an app on my iPhone, I could control when the first and second drops fell into my basin of water and when the flashes fired and my camera triggered. It took a great deal of experimenting to have the drops, flashes and camera all work at the right times.

Once I found the "magic timings", I was able to get several images showing the collision of the water drops. Each collision was different, which made it quite interesting. Later I added colored gels to the flashes which resulted in some fascinating results.

My post-processing was fairly extensive. I used Photoshop's Camera Raw filter to adjust the light, the Nik Color Efex filter to provide a vignette, and the Topaz DeNoise AI and Topaz Sharpen AI filters to finish the process.

Data: Canon 5D4; 100mm macro lens; 1/200 sec; f/18; ISO 400.

8 comments posted

LuAnn Thatcher   LuAnn Thatcher
Great experiment, Oliver, I love your photo! You will have to explain more about how you did this and your recommended tools. If I have to be quarantined more, I need more projects; house cleaning just isn't cutting it, hahaha!!

I enjoyed the refreshing feeling while viewing your splash. I like how the subject is tipping forward towards the viewer as if to allow us to peer inside. I like the border of the splash that almost shows it vibrating the water as it splashes upwards. There is a nice smooth texture to the image as I would expect from water.

I would like to suggest something to enhance this photograph, I would try to remove some of the droplets around the splash like the one on the near left front corner, and some on the far right side of the image.

I added a white border to help give the photo a classic finish, what do you think?

PS: Coming back and looking at the edited version I think the border adds structure to the smoothness of your photo; a nice balance.

Best regards,

  Posted: 05/02/2020 14:04:43
Comment Image
Oliver Morton   Oliver Morton
LuAnn, I really like the addition of the white border. As you said, it helps balance the image. I like how you've dealt with the drops on the right. I didn't want to eliminate the "non-essential" drops since I was afraid that a change of that type might make the image seem like it was over-processed. However, your minimization of some of them feels perfect. Thank you!   Posted: 05/04/2020 19:33:20

Emil Davidzuk   Emil Davidzuk

This shot is off the hook as Guy Fieri says. The tonal detail you captured in the crown of the splash is extraordinary. I have always wanted to try drop photography, patience and fear of falling short of good outcomes keeps me grounded. You could clone out the small drops at the base and darken the two light areas on the RHS but not major issues cus your eye is top side. I love what you accomplished.

Emil   Posted: 05/04/2020 19:16:33
Oliver Morton   Oliver Morton
LOL... Emil, I knew who Guy Fieri was (I occasionally watch food shows, especially during the shutdown), but I wasn't familiar with "off the hook". So, Google to the rescue! Grins. Thank you for the compliment!

I suggest trying water drop photography and not worrying about falling short of good outcomes. Sheesh, if I worried about that, I'd probably never take a picture. I think you're absolutely right about darkening the bright areas on the right of the image. And, I'll play with the small drops at the base.

Thank you for you input! Very useful.

  Posted: 05/04/2020 19:40:02

Gary Stiger   Gary Stiger
Unique image Oliver. Water splashes must be akin to snowflakes… no two alike. Being somewhat of a purist, I personally would not eliminate very much if anything at all. I have done my share of cloning or erasing, but I generally do it where absolutely necessary. I don't see anything objectional here. You have a couple of small star bursts and an electric type glow around the throat of the splash. That to me adds to the uniqueness and interest generated within the image, and I believe it was enhanced by your extensive postprocessing. Personally, I appreciate the artists who go the extra mile… obviously done here.   Posted: 05/04/2020 22:38:27
Oliver Morton   Oliver Morton
Thank you so much, Gary. It's always challenging for me to decide how far to go with post-processing. I enjoy playing with tones and all aspects of lighting. However, like you I generally try to be fairly conservative about removing portions of an image.

  Posted: 05/09/2020 10:47:20

Bob Legg   Bob Legg
Oliver/Pete, I keep thinking about this image. So unique with excellent detail, tonal values and composition. I agree with others regarding the small details, so I'll score it a 27 and move on to the next.   Posted: 05/10/2020 20:30:53
Oliver Morton   Oliver Morton
Thank you, Bob. I'll take a 27!   Posted: 05/20/2020 16:58:55


Please log in to post a comment