Receitas – Colisão De Gotas

Hello, there! On this edition of our Splash Recipes I’m going to show you not only a technique, but a whole new gadget I’ve worked on lately. It serves the purpose of shooting a small drop of water landing in a recipient filled with water and, what’s more, it fits in a small suitcase. This set allows us to register the very moment the drop hits the water at the same spot each attempt, and it is comprised of the following bits:

  • the gadget itself, which can be seen in all its simplicity on the set;
  • a saline plastic bottle of sorts, which can be seen in (1), and will contain the water;
  • an infrared sensor, as in (2) like the one used in the last post;
  • the photo triggers in (3);
  • a flash (4);
  • a small recipient (5) — and this is the essencial set, which can be further sophisticated by the addition of:
  • a small drop-catcher (6);
  • a bottle (7);
  • a strobe head (8);
  • a light diffuser (9).

The most important feature of this gadget is to allow the droplet to fall exactly on the same spot each time, and it works rather simply. First off, the photographer must pre-focus on some small stand-in object precisely placed in the spot where the drop falls. Then, in the twilight, the photographer opens the shutter in B mode. Once he opens the valve, the water drips — the dripping is controlled by a valve on the tube, and in the early tries, it’s easier to let one drop at a time. As soon as the droplet reaches the level of the photo triggers, they send a signal to the infrared device, which in turn triggers the flash. The photographer releases the shutter button and it’s done.

Now, of course that if the infrared triggered the flash instantly, the camera would register mere still water in the recipient. In order to capture some action, the infrared must be delayed a little bit before it triggers the flash — and we’re talking miliseconds here. This adjustment is regulated by a delay button, which determines how long the infrared will wait before triggering the flash. It’s up to the photographer to choose the precise stage of the action.

The only difference between setups A and B is that in setup B there is a small catcher connected to a bottle below the tube. The purpose of this addition is to allow for pictures showing drops colliding in the air, a technique known as “colliding drops”. This basically happens as follows: a drop hits the water, dives in, bounces up and at that precise moment comes a new drop to hit it in mid-air. To achieve that, there must be a regular frequency in the dripping, unlike in A. Let it be noted that this frequency must be hairsplittingly adjusted, so the drops hit one another. However, if we simply let it drip nonstop, the water in the recipient will become a mess of ripples and bubbles — hence the catcher. By rotating it in and out of the way, we’re allowed to maintain a steady frequency on the valve and yet interrupt the flow in order to preserve our small pool placid. We also want the set to remain tidy, so all the extrenuous water that goes in the catcher is collected in the plastic bottle in (7), which can also be recycled afterwards, especially if it’s a prepared colored mixture.

Note that when shooting colliding drops, if you’re using a small flash that recharges quickly, instead of setting the shutter to open in B mode, adjust it for 1 second, which is enough time to capture the collision while avoiding double exposure.

Now, in C there’s the option of using a diffuser and a different light source. This is shown in order to demonstrate that, even if small flashes aren’t your thing, this set is still easy to carry around, with bigger and yet portable strobe heads, which will of course yield different light quality, as can be seen in the examples below — the first shot with an Nikon SB 24 and the following with Broncolor strobe heads.

These forms, plastic and iconic, simple in elements and yet of a complex but cohesive geometry were invisible , as quasars and proteins, until 20th-century technical and industrial developments in photography, as the human eye fails to capture so brief a moment amidst the splashing chaos of creation. Today, we are able to see in pristine detail nature’s charm and beauty through high-speed photography, capturing it in, as it were, a state of grace. The resulting image is called a liquid sculpture, and it lies halfway between two kinds of works of art, the spontaneous and the ephemeral, brought together by the artist’s guidance and technique.

Aside of the basics, any experimentation is possible. Consider modifying the water by dying it or even replacing it with any other liquid, such as milk. Changes in light direction, use of color gels, assemblage more flashes for more power or different lighting special effects, anything will lead to different and valuable creative outputs.

Have fun!


2 Responses to “Receitas – Colisão De Gotas

  1. Tony Generico disse:

    Caro Edval, trata-se de um flash profissional da marca Broncolor, modelo Graffitti que já foi substituido pelo modelo Scoro – O representante no Brasil é a Importécnica – 11-5052-5344. Observo que é um equipamento muito sofisticado que em muitas situações pode ser substituído por flashes portáteis de baixo custo que chegam a ter disparos ainda mais rápidos embora não tão potentes. Sucesso e bons disparos!!!

  2. Tony Generico disse:

    Como comentei, o sensor que usamos no último workshop foi um protótipo do que deve ser lançado muito em breve. Por isso ainda não está no site Sugiro que entre em contato por telefone e entre na fila de espera, ok? Sucesso!!!

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