Water droplet collisions are difficult to photograph because your subject disappears in a flash. It can be difficult to set up and refine a successful shoot strategy. However, one photographer shared his top tips and tricks to help you.
Jens Heidler, YouTube channel Another Perspective, has shared previously projects that were born out of his passion for macro- and timelapse work. These include his 10-day timelapse video of a cracked egg and advice on how to capture snowflakes. Jens also shared his macro capture which shows the life cycle ladybugs as well as shiitake mushrooms.
Heidler explains how to set up a water droplet collision shooting in the video below. Heidler starts by choosing the right tools to release each drop. He also offers advice on budget-friendly options that beginners can use to try this type of photography without spending too much.
Heidler shoots this type of photography with a Photron Fastcam Nova S16. This is a high-speed camera that can be used for professional purposes. It doesn’t matter what camera you use, sufficient light is essential. Heidler chose a continuous light source over a flash due to his high-speed camera. This would mean that he could fire the flash 7,000 times per second. Two flashes are sufficient for a typical consumer camera workflow.
Heidler finds it easiest to focus by marking the spot where droplets are falling with an upright pen. He then sticks the pen down on the table with putty, to keep it in place. This allows him to focus with precision.
This type of experimental photography has the beauty that you can change every aspect of your workflow to produce unique results. For example, changing the timings of the shutter, camera settings, timings, liquid color, lighting placement, and so on.
Heidler uses a Photron Fastcam Nova S16 and a Sony FE90mm f/2.8 Macro Lens to capture 7,000 images per seconds, which are then combined. Heidler created visually diverse footage by altering the parameters of his shots. This shows how even small changes can make a huge difference and create unique results.