Shooting Challenge: A Water Drop

The average person sees a water drop as an impossible slice of time to capture. But you aren't the average person, you're an amateur photographer. And for this week's Shooting Challenge, you're going to pull off this mind-bending visual stunt.

The Challenge

Capture a water drop—the moment after or during impact. The "water" need not be actual water (any liquid is fine that works), and the impact need not be generated in water (in other words, feel free to capture a water dropping on any sort of solid).

The Method

I'd never attempted the technique before, but researching it for this week's challenge, I realized, it's not as bad as you'd expect—and by the way, this shot was taken with a Powershot G9 and integrated flash, so no whining about equipment:

Shooting Challenge: A Water Drop


You poke a pinhole in a plastic bag full of water and let the camera rip. Then repeat many, many, many times. Recommended shutter speeds differ with exact setups (the first tutorial below recommends fast shutter while the second merely recommends fast flash). Be careful not to use longer lenses or it will flatten the composition while crushing your depth of field.

This tutorial (that generated the shot directly above) is a bit basic, but it'll work well for those of you without external flash equipment.

This tutorial is fantastic, though a bit more advanced.

The Rules

1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos need to be taken the week of the contest. (No portfolio linking or it spoils the "challenge" part.)
3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings and technique used to snag the shot.
4. Email submissions to contests@gizmodo.com.
5. Include 800px wide image (200KB or less) AND a 2560x1600 sized in email. (The 800px image is the one judged, so feel free to crop/alter the larger image for wallpaper-sized dimensions.)

Send your best entries by Sunday, May 9th at 11PM Eastern to contests@gizmodo.com with "Water Drop" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameDROP.jpg (800px) and FirstnameLastnameDROPWALLPAPER.jpg (2560px) naming conventions. Include your shooting summary (camera, lens, ISO, etc) in the body of the email along with a story of the shot in a few sentences.

[Lead image by Michael Dykstra]

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Gizmodo's Shooting Challenge is a weekly opportunity to dust off that fancy dSLR and experiment with hundreds of others in a new photography theme announced every Wednesday. May the best shot rule the internet for a week!
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