I spent a bit of time checking out my new favorite photography site 500px.com the other day, and was really taken by a few assorted shots that involved water.
Reflections, droplets, ink flowing through water; all really nice images. I got the idea in my head to try my own special capture of  some water droplets.

Shooting water is about the surrounding light, not about lighting the actual water. The highlights and reflections are tremendously important to take into consideration. You need to fiddle with reflecting angles and strength of the lights… I opted to set my drop-shoot up at my kitchen table. Trust when I say, I was totally flying by the seat of my pants on this one.  I feel like it might be good knowing how to light other shoots, or use Speedlights. If you need help with strobist techniques, head over and check out Strobist. If you’re into lists, here’s what I used for my shoot.

  • Water
  • A Ziploc Sandwich bag
  • A sewing needle, or very thin item to puncture the bag with when the time comes
  • Cable release, or other remote trigger
  • SB-600 x 2 Speedlights (or a dependable, easily adjustable flashgun)
  • Speedlight Gels (for creating colors)
  • The big secret item for the crazy bokeh was…. a crinkled up space blanket
  • Sigma 50mm f/2.8 Macro (great for focus and best for effects)
  • A bigass, black pot filled to the brim with water
In a nutshell, I clamped the Ziploc bag to the light, and hung it so that when I pierced the bag with the needle, I’d have a really uniform drip-drip-drip that I could focus in on. The pot was placed beneath the bag, and I set up my camera VERY close to the water impact area on a tripod. I set two flashes, and fiddled with different gels throughout the time I was shooting (see bush-league diagram). I was using Nikon SB800 master (CLS) to trigger my flashes,and well… the rest is history. I was running (as I always do) with the ISO set low for most of these shots, and was at f/2.8  a lot. Be prepared to shoot a lot of frames to get what you want, as those drops move fast! Fire away!
So, here are the results. Take a look, comment, let me know what you think, and feel free to ask questions.

Horribly drawn diagram...

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