View Full Version : Advice on settings

05-20-2008, 11:14 AM
I am trying to take a photograph of an object falling in a water and the splash that it creates. I am trying to take the photo at home. I have a Canon 40D and a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens. I had the camera on a tripod and had set the drive mode to high speed, ISO was 800. I tried different settings but all of them gave me a dark picture....one which was slightly better exposed didn't focus properly. I had the AF on. Any help on this will be appreciated.


05-20-2008, 12:00 PM
I recommend you shoot completely in Manual. Focus on where the water will fall. I place an old battery in a dish of water, focus on that, then remove the battery and drop the water. I use the built-in flash which allows me to use 1/1000 sec shutter speed, ISO 100, and Aperture around f5.6 or better. Also I use a #3 close up filter which allows me to get close without being close which makes the built in flash work so well.

05-20-2008, 12:01 PM
As this (http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38914) thread indicates, you need a shutter speed of around 1/1000 sec to freeze motion like that. It's just too dim indoors to get a good exposure at that speed with the existing lighting. You need to use a flash or other accessory lighting. You could also try doing it outdoors on a very bright day.

edit: Bynx beat me to it :)

05-20-2008, 12:15 PM
Thanks guys. "BYNX", i had the camera set on Manual. Aperture settings tried were both 4 & 5.6. Also, shutter speeds tried were 800, 1000, 1200. My question would now be, you mentioned that you used the "in-built" flash but the flash won't fire at that shutter speed with the continuous mode on. And since i am trying to take the photo of the splash created by a falling object in water, I have to use the continuous mode. Another piece of information, the lighting was fluorescent. I guess the other option would be to try this during daytime outdoors so that the camera gets enough exposure. If there is another way of achieving what i want to, i would appreciate the feedback.


05-20-2008, 12:31 PM
You dont need to shoot continuous. But I recommend you set up some kind of stand so the eyedropped you use to drop the water with is in a fixed position. Then when you drip some liquid you hit the shutter just as it hits the water. It takes some good timing but after a couple hundred shots you will get the feel for it. I dont think you can do this with available light you have to use the flash.

05-20-2008, 12:40 PM
Thanks again for such a quick reply. Really do appreciate the help on this. BTW, the shot you posted, great shot. I'll try the way you said but i am not sure i understand what you meant by "set up some kind of stand so the eyedropped you use to drop the water with is in a fixed position". I had a large glass bowl on the kitchen counter. Also, looking at your photo, it seems that having some sort of color at the bottom of the vessel containing water would be a better idea and produce a better effect.

05-20-2008, 12:58 PM
I don't think you can shoot with a flash and a SS that fast unless you have an external flash that supports HSS. Also, some people use food coloring as the drop instead of water.

05-20-2008, 01:04 PM
I rigged up a couple of speaker stands with a board across them which had a small hole drilled in the middle. I stuck an eye dropped in the hole so now its fixed. Every drop will land in the same spot. Also the height is fixed so the time for each drop to hit is exactly the same. This will help you get your timing right. My camera is a Fuji S700. With macro setting (NOT super macro) the flash works. Using the settings I have mentioned your lighting will be consistant and correct for a distance of about 12 inches or so from your target. The shot I posted was shot using the settings I have mentioned. If you want to see more examples go to www.photo.net/photos/Bynx

05-20-2008, 03:07 PM
With a flash a fast shutter speed isn't really needed, the flash freezes the motion. I've done all sorts of shots with water droplets, using the very basic set up of minipod for the camera, flashgun, dish of water, some food dye, and a dropper. It just takes time to get your timing to the right kind of level. :) Incidentally, I'm shooting with the 40D as well, so it's possible. ;)

Few examples of what can be done...Not the worlds best shots but you get the idea.




05-20-2008, 04:18 PM
JC, I didn't know you wanted to take actual water drop shots? I thought it was objects falling in the water? It might not make much difference, I just thought you might need a faster shutter speed to capture it. Indeed you don't need a very fast shutter speed for water drop shots. The flash does the "freezing motion" for you. I took this photo (http://www.flickr.com/photos/toriaj/427920293/in/set-72157602052637684/) at 1/160 sec with the onboard flash. You might try some much slower shutter speeds (1/125 or 1/320) and see what happens.
P.S. The water drop thread (http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17406&highlight=water+drop) has lots of information, including how to do an eyedropper setup.