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Welcome to Zoom-Foto

You've no doubt landed here as part of a journey. It starts with the quest for knowledge or inspiration and ends generally with a few choice words with our good friend Google. Words like "camera" and "lighting", combined with "how'd they do that ..." and "how can I do that ..." will land you here. Take heart my friends. I can show you "how'd they do that" - and how you can too.

And this is where our paths cross and we begin our journey together. I have trod the path of 'avid photographer' for years. I have searched for hours for 'how to photograph water drops' and marveled at the perfection of other people's beautifully poised single sparkling drop. I have stood for far too long in the cold to capture that one moment of swirling snow when the air appears to sparkle. And I confess with guilt that beautiful wild horses in the Icelandic hills just had to be photographed at the expense of my very patient traveling companions.

We have all been there - somewhere where the distractions of life are left behind and we exist in the moment. Camera in hand, subject just there. And nothing else. Call me obsessed, call me a little crazy, and you might have captured my dedication to documenting that moment.
If you get this - if you've been there - then join me as I follow the path of avid photographer. Let's learn a lot of photo tech, share our inspiration and produce fantastic shots!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Macro Images - Water Drops and Water Drop Reflection


My latest project gave me lots of opportunity to challenge my photo skills and more than enough opportunity to test my patience.  Make sure you have nothing in your schedule for a while, and a fair sized glass of wine beside you when you undertake this project.  Then settle in  - your time will be rewarded with some incredible images!

Canon EOS Rebel T1i
Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro Photo Lens
Canon Speedlite 580EX II
Laptop with: EOS Remote Shooting Utility, Photoshop CS5
Not cool gear:

Snap that photo
Here's what I did to get my shots:
  1. Hang a bag with a drop-size hole in one corner.
    • a tripod will make height and distance adjustment easy
    • small clips will allow adjustment of the hole size and drip speed
  2. Put a large flat dish below the bag to catch overflow;  Place small dishes inside to adjust height and to catch drops
  3. Choose your background.
    • The first image is backed by Christmas wrapping paper.  The lens flare is caused by sparkles on the paper.
    • If using a flower as the background, ensure it's far enough away from any hot lights so it doesn't wilt too quickly.  Note the sparkles on the background in this case are caused by drops of water on the flower.
  4. Adjust clips to start drips
  5. Set your camera to Manual mode to maintain control over both a fast shutter and the level of detail in your background.
  6. Hold a pencil in front of your lens.  When the point is in focus, you have found the direction and focus location.  Adjust the bag so drips meet up with this location.  Alternativly, hold the pencil point where the drops are landing, and adjust the lens so it's direction and focus location meet up with this location.
  7. Using a fast shutter will make the view too dark (until the flash goes off) to determine the focus location as indicated above.  In this case, switch to aperture priority temporarily with a large aperture to make adjustments.
  8. Use your cameras remote shutter release software to view your image and snap your picture for maximum control and to eliminate camera shake.


  1. Wow Nicky, you are amazing. Those images are beautiful.

  2. Nice. My next project after getting a micro lens... No macro lens yet.

  3. Thanks - a really fun and also challenging thing to photograph!

  4. I really love and appreciate the way you present your photos; label your steps and share. I think I should do the same way as well. Thanks for sharing and never try this before ....

  5. Thanks Simon - glad you enjoyed my work.