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Totally inspired by Amber’s images of water splashes, I vowed I would give this a shot when it rained. Well, boy is it raining today! We have a veritable monsoon happening out there – really, really horrible weather all around. 

I tried shooting water drops outside, but rain is inconsistent and the wind was gusting something fierce. Not easily dissuaded, I set up my own thing inside. Nothing special really – just a sheet pan laid across the kitchen sink (to raise the level of the drops up to my lens level) with a black dinner plate on top (I wanted a dark background) and faucet turned to a medium drip. Camera set on tripod, Manual shooting mode, SB-900 flash with a FL-G1 colored gel filter and white balance set to Cool White Flourescent. 

The toughest thing I found was getting manual focus set correctly to capture tack sharp drops and splashes. Need to work on that as I lost alot of interesting images due to things being ‘out of focus’ – arrrrgh! In any event, I prevailed and I am more than thrilled with the results I achieved today! 

Here are my favorite three shots: 

"Roulette" (Single Water Drop) Nikon D300, 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/5, 1/125s, -0.7EV, ISO 640, SB900 w/FL-G1 Colored Gel Filter, i-TTL Flash, -0.3EV

"Rosette" (Explosion of Water Drops) Nikon D300, 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/13, 1/320s, -0.7EV, ISO 640, SB900 w/FL-G1 Colored Gel Filter, i-TTL Flash

"Royalette" (Water Crown) Nikon D300, 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/13, 1/320s, -0.7EV, ISO 640, SB900 w/FL-G1 Colored Gel Filter, i-TTL Flash

It was so cool to witness the erratic way water reacts to striking a surface and how each image is sooooo different from each other. I highly recommend giving this a try yourself! 🙂



  1. These are SO cool!! I’ve tried this before, on a day when we had lost power and I couldn’t play on the computer. I keep meaning to try again (with tripd this time!) I might try flash, too. Last time was natural light, and continuous shooting mode.

    Btw. we have the same camera 🙂

    • Thanks Michaela! Flash is a MUST to freeze the water in these cool forms. I also wanted a very dark background (no photoshopping here) so it was necessary for flash to highlight the water.

      Sweet camera isn’t it?? 🙂

  2. I have never tried this, but your results are lovely

    • Mucho gracias Lynn! It was really fun and soooo what I needed today!

  3. Woo hoo!!! These look super awesome. Love that rich blue and you got such awesome ripples and form in the water. Soooo much better than rain for sure. Looks so fun 🙂

    • Thanks Amber! I really wanted a cool color so I was very happy when the gel and the WB setting gave me that. I’m sure the black plate and blah natural light (overcast day) coming in from the kitchen window all played a part in the equation. You know the one…the one I probably won’t ever be able to duplicate again! Thanks again for your inspiration!

  4. Good stuff, Maynard …..

    • Thanks, I think? Sorry, Rupe, but you’ve completely baffled me with the “Maynard” reference! Explain?

      • *sighs*

        Rupe and his obscure references he believes are witty ….

        It is from a Malt-O-Meal commercial in the 70s. A kid doesn’t want to eat his food so he gives it to his imaginary friend, Maynard. The dad plays off Maynard by saying…

        *Points to everyone around the world*

        “That’s good stuff, Maynard.”

        *sighs anew*

    • Nope, never saw that. Perhaps it was a regional commercial?? or else, I am just too young! 🙂

  5. I tried doing something like this a while ago… alas, my photos sucked.

    I’ll try your settings, hopefully I’ll succeed next time.

    Beautiful photos, Tracy!

    • Thanks Juan. Can be tricky…tripod and flash are a must (IMHO). Oh, and patience! 🙂

  6. Fantastic!
    Very good work. I promised myself to try this when I saw it somewhere around here. -Never got to it.
    The ‘Rosette’ is outstanding.

    • Thanks Carsten! Well, now, what are you waiting for? No excuses!! 🙂

  7. Very cool shots, Tracy. Something I’ve wanted to try as I’ve seen some really neat captures along these lines, but I have a feeling I’d come up with nothing but frustration from my current camera on shots like this. One more reason to keep up my campaign for a DSLR with my hubby! 🙂
    Now that I’ve reached 2010 in your archives, the comments really seem to pick up. Did you do something different to start bringing folks to your site?

    • Thank you, Karma! I had also wante to try these and well, when it is the middle of winter, I figured ‘no better time like the present!’

      Before getting smart and setting up something inside, I did try to get water drops outside. Very frustrating! Waaay to randomn!

      I actually think you P&S could capture these. Definitely need a tripod and definitely need to be on macro mode, probably zoomed in. Do you have manual focus capabilities? Oh, what am I saying! Forget all this Show hubby these images and DEMAND a DSLR!! 😀

      Funny you should mention the comments…yes, I finally realized I needed more traffic or else I was never gonna finish the project (why continue if no one was looking?) Sooooo, I posted my site on the WordPress Forums and also, started visiting other sites and, when I connected with the photog’s photos, I commented ( I never commented just to comment). Things started to spark from there as my blog made its way onto blogrolls (such an honor). I’m so glad I smartened up because I have met so many nice people (like yourself) who not only keep me going, but also inspire me to be better than I am! 🙂

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