Fun with water drops

Fun with water drops

I’ve always been fascinated with water especially watching the sea and waves crashing on a beach, but freezing water in place gives a whole new insight into what the element is capable of.

These two are examples of an intriguing art form – capturing the interactions between tiny drops of water as they crash into each other by freezing the movement with an extremely short burst of light.

What you are actually seeing in these is one drop of water hitting the surface, sinking a little and then bouncing back into the air. Just as that drop is reaching its maximum height about the surface, a second drop is released and it crashes into the pillar to give this unique shapes. The one immediately above shows that second drop just starting to hit the first and spreading out. Waiting a millisecond or two longer gives us some very unique views of what happens next.

This is perhaps one of the most common shapes that is formed with the new drop splashing in all directions but more or less holding itself together. Others totally disintegrate into an almost “Christmas Tree” shape.

Each one is more or less random in its shape and depends on exactly how big the drops are, the timing between the first and the second and, finally, the delay between the drop hitting the water and the flashgun firing.

Depending on the colors added to the liquid (and also how the lighting is arranged) we get very different looks:

This blue one is formed (I think) by the second drop creating the crown shape and then perhaps a very small droplet was released and caught just before it starts yet another collision. Fascinating! And my final one shows the water almost sliding down the initial pillar:

I have now uploaded these to Fine Art America and to my portfolio there. What do you think – art-worthy? Can you see someone wanting one (or perhaps a matching pair) on the wall of their home? I’d welcome any views on that!

This Post Has 4 Comments

    1. Yes, it takes some time to get right and you probably take 200 images to get a few that you really like! The shutterspeed is 1 second, surprisingly, but a flashgun set at 1/32 power gives a really short burst of light that freezes the water.

  1. These are fabulous, Steve! I’ve always admired this kind of photography, but have never tried it. They’re works of art – abstract and yet refined and the colors are wonderful!

  2. You didn’t see the hundreds that were consigned to the trash! But, thanks! It’s intriguing to see what you can do!

Leave a Reply

Close Menu
error: Please do not download this image