So today I woke up to a BUNCH of snow. Canceled my appointment, sent the kids off sledding, and took macro images!

I love how the splash crown is reflected so well, I’ve never gotten that before!

Two falling drops in the same shot, another first for me!

On this one, I wish I’d wrapped the yardstick I was using in wrapping paper so it didn’t show.


For the first two, where I was at the surface of the water, this was my setup:

Yes, that’s a box of cake mix, along with the blocks, supporting the camera. (Lemon flavor, but you could use any flavor you’d like. I just happen to like lemon cake.) I slide the whole box of cake mix forward and back to fine-tune the focus.  On the surface the splashes leave bubbles, so that makes focusing a little easier.

Here is my setup for the third one:

Notice I’m not using a tripod, instead I have an upside down old pot, a big can of rice, and if you look really closely, a couple of my kids’ wooden blocks to fine tune the angle of the lens. The blue wedge shaped block is my favorite. Again, I slide the whole tower forward and back to fine tune focus.
In the one below, you can better see how I have my flash set up to illuminate the backdrop:

(The backdrop is just wrapping paper clamped to my daughter’s award-winning science fair project. I find that the trifold setup brings more background and less clutter to the water drop. I sometimes use a solid color apron and sometimes a polka dot kitchen towel under the pie pan.)

Focusing for these can be hard. I’ll share my tip with you:

See? My “tip” for focusing is my fingertip. I put my fingertip in front of the lens so the water is dripping right on it, and then focus there. See the darker spots in the corners? That’s what happens when I use all 3 of my extension tubes at once on my full-frame. I just plan on cropping. Would have cropped this, except I decided it had educational value.

Initially I was using a Ziplock bag with a hole poked in it clamped to the yardstick. But then I got this:

See the blue clamp? I switched to the water bottle you see in the pullbacks and took the label off. Wish I’d thought to wrap the ruler, too. Live and learn.

The flash should illuminate the background, not the drop itself. I like having mine off camera and experimenting with distance and position. But sometimes you’ll get something between the flash and the background and get this:

Look at the backdrop THROUGH the drop and you’ll see the shadow of something – not sure what – that got in the way.
So anyway, that’s how I spent my snow day!