My friend and I decided to try out this contest for the first time this weekend. We tried many different objects but we were having difficulty producing a nice splash that was representative of this challenge. Finally we tried an old halogen light bulb that was no longer needed and we started to see the splash we were looking for. I used a nikon d5000 and a 50mm lens with the aperture at 1.4 and an exposure time of 1/1000 of a second at ISO 200. Light touch ups were done using camera raw.

I definitely enjoyed the contest and look forward to more.

- Devin Minaker


As soon as I read the article I decided to take part in this challenge. It is probably the first challenge which really caught my eye. While throwing things in the water I remembered a scene from Pearl Harbor, the one with the falling bomb. This reminded me that I had a bullet I could drop in the water. I quite liked the idea of making it look like a torpedo!
I had a few problems seeing as I didn't have a fish tank nor time to buy one. I therefore decided to use a fridge drawer and the effect wasn't that bad after all.

This shot was taken with a Canon EOS 450D (Rebel XSi) with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM. (70mm, f/8, 1/200, ISO 400)

- Andrea Nessi


Title: "Penny Plunge"

I've been photographing for only a month now. What inspires me the most is seeing other peoples' work and techniques they use to get great pictures. For this challenge I thought of many ideas but with only a short period of time I had to rush this challenge and offer you this one picture. I filled a flower vase with plain water and threw in a few pennies to experiment the effects.

Canon T3i, Shutter 1/160, f/5.6, ISO800

-David Chau


Canon 60D, Canon 50mm Compact Macro, ISO 250, Aperture f/16,

I got the idea for this when i dropped a brush into a cup of water while i was painting, and I remembered this week's challenge. I used watercolor paint instead of the acrylic I had been painting with when i got the idea. It was shot in total darkness with a shutter speed of 5 sec and a 2 second timer. The flash was set off manually off while dropping the brush into the vase. The blinking light of the camera timer was useful for seeing where to drop the brush. I didn't take too many shots since I had to toss out the water after each try. There were actually some better practice shots with no paint, but I wanted to stick to my original idea.

- Esmer Olvera


My setup included a fish tank supported between two coffee tables, a halogen work light projecting light from beneath the tank and an additional halogen light projecting light towards the front of the tank. Initially i had everything set up inside, however given that I was relying on my shutter speed instead of flash lighting to capture the shot, I eventually gave up until I could take the setup outside where there was more light. Also, I can definitely see where a squeegee would have come in handy, over a paper towel. Equipment used: Canon 7D, Sigma 85mm f1.4. Shot settings: iso 800, 1/2000 & f2.5 .

- Ian Chase


So this was done pretty much last minute with limited equipment. For the backdrop we had a piece of paper held up with a tin foil base and the lighting was an old fish tank lamp lid. The water was held in a cheap Ikea glass. For flash we only had one external flash and the built in flash on the camera.The technique was simple: put the camera in continuous shot mode on a timer and try to time when we dropped items into the glass. Often we would only get the item falling towards the water and then the next shot would be the item already fully in the water. This was the standout shot. Shot with a Canon EOS Rebel T3i with a 70-200mm f/4.0L USM in manual mode, 1/200 shutter speed, F9.0, and 100 ISO. The external flash was a Speedlite 430EX II in ETTL mode. Flash was at +2 2/3 in slave mode.

- Martin Grondin


I like to try to add my own creative touch to each weeks challenge. I had a fairly easy time following the tutorial from Video Extremist. Although I tried, I had a hard time adding my own ideas to this weeks challenge. I tried fruit, vegetables, flowers, toys, jewelery, rocks, and bullets. If I copied the tutorial to closely, so be it. It was the best shot.

"A Splash of Color" was shot employing a couple of strawberries, Chilean peppers, and orange daisy petals floating in a tank of water against a black velvet background. I used my Canon T1i Rebel using Canon's macro EF-S 60mm 1:2.8 lens. Also a shoe cord to a Quantaray external flash, a slave trigger on a Vivitar external flash, and three tripods. Settings where manual, 1/160,f-14, ISO 100, white balance set to flash, with manual focus enabled. Photoshop to remove the water line.

I would like to thank Bob Watts for the unselfish use of his equipment, suggestions, support, and guidance in a creative ability that is my own.


- Ron Barrett

The penny dropped... a gazillion times.

Equipment and settings: Canon T2i, 1/160, F14, ISO 100 (what the video tutorial suggested), but only one flash :-( -I used photoshop to put the three photos next to each other and add a border, and Aperture to adjust black and white settings.


Story: Not having multiple flashes proved to be a big issue for this challenge: it was impossible to avoid the shadows in the back, even after using additional lighting and other cheap tricks. Nonetheless, I am pretty happy with how it turned out.

Separate: Trying to find a clever title for this photo, I learned a British(?) idiom: When the penny drops, someone belatedly understands something that everyone else has long since understood.

- Diego Jimenez


Nikon D40x, 18-55mm kit lens, f/5.6, 1/200 second, ISO 400.

I just recently have taken up photography and I saw a video about making splash photography images sometime last week. Seeing this contest on Gizmodo motivated me to go out and actually try it. I pulled out a vase from our pantry and set it on a chair with a piece of white posterboard about a foot behind it. I used my desk lamp to illuminate the background and set up my camera on a tripod about a yard away from the chair. I had my little brother drop a lemon into the vase when I triggered the shutter; it took maybe four tries to get this image, at which point I was fearful for the safety of my camera because of all the water splashing around. Some adjustments in Lightroom yielded this image.

- Zach Blaine Hoskins


Once I saw your photo challenge for the week I immediately knew I wanted to try it. Within 10 minutes I had decided what I was going to do, I just wasn't sure how. I went home and started experimenting with getting fire on top of the water. I set the shot up in my garage and put the 10 gallon tank on one side of my workbench and covered the rest of the bench in black fabric along with a poster board sticking up to serve as the background. For lighting, I ended up using my SB-900 above and to the front left of the tank. Shooting through the glass resulted in reflections and weird shadows cast by the corners of the tank. For the fire I resorted to using gasoline. It floated on water in a nice blob and was easily ignitable. I did a few tests in a can before doing the full size version and was originally set on nail polish remove, but with the larger volume of water it wouldn't ignite. On the bottom of the tank I placed a piece of 16g sheet metal so the piston and rod didn't break the bottom open. It was quite the chore getting the gas in the tank, lighting it, dropping the piston, and taking the picture. The sequence went like this: pour gas into a cap (about 1-1.5 tablespoons) and pour it in a line down the middle of the tank; reach down on the floor and light a propane torch in one hand and grab the piston and rod in the other. I'd light the tank with the propane torch and then quickly put it down onto the floor as I needed this hand to push the shutter. At this point I'd reach somewhat into the tank taking note not to get burnt and drop the piston and hit the shutter with my other hand. The splashing water would put out about 90% of the flames, the rest I could blow out.

I did get some pictures of the piston and rod half in/half out of the water, but once I was done editing a few I was really drawn to this one. I love the character of the bubbles trying to escape as well as the contrast of the dancing, colorful fire on top of the water and the cold, lifeless looking steel on the bottom. The other ones just seemed so dull to how dynamic this one is. All in all I had a fun time with this project.

Camera: Nikon D300
Exposure Mode: Manual
Shutter: 1/160
Aperture: f/7.1
ISO: 200

Flash: SB-900
Location: Above and to the front left
Mode: Remote/Manual
Zoom: 200mm (to cut down on glare and focus just on the piston/rod)
Exposure: 1/128


-Brandon Shuttlesworth

Nikon D90, 18-55 VR @ 18mm, f/3.5, 1/4000, ISO 125, no flash. I borrowed my girlfriends vase (the flowers didn't make it) and went out on the balcony and used the natural sunlight and my trusty loonie and just went to town. I must have dropped the loonie into the vase dozens of times and this shot just showed the loonie destroying the surface of the water as it plunged down into the depths!


- Adam Biesenthal

I call this shot, Glacier Candy.

This week's Shooting Challenge was the high-maintenance girlfriend I'm happy to say only lasted the weekend - this "B" word was a pain in the ass. After every shot I would have to clean water drops off the mirror I was shooting on, as well as wipe off the glass I was dropping stuff into. I took 155 shots that took most of the day, but I came out with many great shots. I only chose this one because I believe it was slightly better than the others, and I really like the way the blue of the Candy pops with the water.


I set up my mini studio on my dining room table. I elevated a large piece of mirror (leftover from making last weeks Vortography challenge) so as to not get any of the actual table in the shot. I used the fickle outdoor light, as well as a desktop lamp, to illuminate a small Port glass. I used the black side of my 5-in-1 reflector as a backdrop for this shot and played around with its positioning. I was surprised that the black created such a beautiful backdrop and reflected enough light to make the edges of the glass really pop. My wife did every single drop as I counted down from three. I had to hold the reflector with my right hand while tripping the remote shutter with my left. No surprise but we weren't exactly timed correctly at every drop.

This was shot on a Canon EOS Rebel T3i, EF-S 18 - 55mm lens @ 30mm, f / 4.5, Shutter Speed - 1/500, ISO 1600, no flash

-R.J. Barrett


Out with the old and in with the new, right? So I submerged my iPhone in the name of Art and Photography. I took this with my Canon 40D set at f/3.5, ISO-640 and exposure at 1/320 sec. Even though I took a lot of exposures (maybe 200) I lucked out with this one.

You can watch the process here:

- Nick Duel


I know this challenge implied high-speed liquid droplets and gas bubbles, but I went for something more emotional.

This was taken for my daughter's high school English project, and it fit the challenge's theme. Youth, regret, and mortality.

Canon 7D with a 50mm lens. Manual mode. 1/400s (to somewhat freeze the water), f/1.4 (shallow DOF), ISO 3200 (force noise). Retouched and color removed in Adobe Lightroom.


- David Lee

A penny for your thoughts?

For this weeks shooting challenge I had to utilize my on board flash, ewww. I tried to bounce, defuse, and aim the flash which proved to be difficult. I set up a mini back drop and tried to get the "plunge" I was looking for. After many attempts this is what I came up with. Turned B&W and cropped in photoshop. Canon 60d, old 28mm nikon macro, 1/250, f2.8, ISO 100.



-Tyler Bedgood


I ended up using a plastic cereal tupperwear tub for my "fish tank." After trying to get some shots with my mediocre built-in flash, I decided to just use natural light as the sun was shining nicely yesterday. I ended up taking the idea of rotating the photo from the challenge example. I liked how it turned out. Now it appears that the turtle is leaping out of the water, rather than diving in. Fun challenge!

Tech info:
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens
ISO 1000
0 EV

Thanks again!

-Matthew Johnson



This is my first time entering the challenge, although I've been reading the challenges for few months now. I've learned so much, and thought I could to give this one a try. I used a Canon 7d, along with a Canon 100mm lens (it's my only prime lens). I had setting as follows: ISO 100, f/14 and shutter speed at 1/160. I borrowed a friend's flash and set them both up a tripods (didn't have light stands). One was set above the tank, set at 1/8 while the other was was set by the tank at 1/32. This was the first time ever using the manual setting on my flash, and I think it is something I will do more often. I didn't think it would be so easy. This challenge was so much fun to do, I had my friend come over and we had a splash party, dropping various objects in the tank, and playing with camera angles until we decided on angling the camera. I didn't want to do vegetables, as I figured many would, so I tried various objects including coins, and colorful rocks before deciding on this pink, glass diamond. I did put felt on the bottom of the tank, but it still cracked anyway. Oh well, I still had fun, and will just have to get another tank now.

- Alexis Scheel