Friday, July 20, 2018

Splash Art Photography with a Fujifilm GFX50s

f/4 ISO 100 (cropped from top and bottom)
I’ve been interested in splash art for some time experimenting at capturing water drops as they fall.  I recently found a company that produces a water drop kit that will help me capture water drops as they hit the surface.  Cognisys offers an array of water drop kits that allow you to capture 1 or more drops.  I’d suggest a visit to their website to learn more about what they offer.
f/4 ISO 100 (full frame)
Capturing water drops is all about timing. And luck. Lots of luck. It helps if you have a steady supply of water dispensing drops at a regular interval. It also helps if you have at least one flash as it will be the flash that freezes the action not the camera.
f/11 ISO 100 (full frame)
There are videos on YouTube available to help you begin capturing water drops just do as I did and use a search phrase of “water drop photography”.  What I’ve learned during my research is the majority of photographers are using 35mm cameras.  A must is a macro lens as is a tripod and of course a flash.  I happen to use a Fujifilm GFX 50s medium format camera. There are differences between using 35mm and medium format among them is shutter lag; the delay between triggering the shutter and when the image is actually recorded.  Each camera system has a different shutter lag with a 35mm normally faster than medium  format.
f/11 ISO 100 (full frame)
While water drop photography can be captured in normal light using a high shutter speed and flash the shutter lag can become a problem.  The best way to work around this is going dark. I’ve gone back to a dark room much the same as when I worked in a wet dark room. Believe me I’ve laughed at the irony of using what has become a wet darkroom to capture digital images.  Working in a dark room allows me to set the camera in bulb mode before triggering the water drop. The drop falls causing the flash to light and shortly afterwards I close the shutter. The camera only captures at the instant the flash works so allowing for any delay on my part the shutter is open between 1 and 2-seconds.
f/11 ISO 100 (full frame)
Here is the first attempted setup using our kitchen; notice the black paper covering the windows.

I used a spare tripod to set the water drop kit on over the counter and while it worked it also took up a lot of space.  I have a copy stand on order which is a much small footprint and will allow the height I need.  I’m also moving from the kitchen to a smaller windowless room that will allow me to photograph in the daytime in complete darkness. The next blog will be from that setup.  I’ll be sharing a complete list of equipment used in the next blog as well.

Splash Art is much more involved and I plan on adding to this as I learn so please stay tuned.








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