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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!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Macro Images - Water Drops and Water Drop Reflection - Round 2!

Setup: Macro water drop reflection - showing new water drop regulator (an IV bag!)

See the following for my original post: Macro Images - Water Drops and Water Drop Reflection

It's been a while since my previous post on water drop reflection and I've had some time for some of my own reflection on the topic.  Add to that some time for googling, viewing other peoples fantastic images, and of course, the inevitable result of passing time - the acquisition of yet more photography stuff.  Yes, photographers do appear to be a materialistic breed, and yes, I've been shopping ... more on that later.

In the meantime, the following are my insights after a few long nights, lots of pictures, and a few glasses of wine to help me with point #1 below:
  1. Patience is a virtue!:  Take this to heart - embrace the process and those fantastic shots will take care of themselves.  I found this quote which sums up the required attitude pretty well: "You can't control the wind, but you can adjust your sails".  With that in mind, be prepared for a lot of minute adjustments as those unruly water drops just do whatever they want.

  2. Water drop regulation:  Back to my comment on shopping for more photography stuff.  My most useful acquisition since my last session is a gravity feeding bag - actually a medical item, but ideal for regulating water drops.  The one I used can be googled with the reference 8884702500 - available at most medical supply stores.  This is a  replacement for the ziploc bag with hole that I used previously and turns regulation of drop rate from a nightmare into a dream.

  3. Light management: Turn off any point lights, including room lights, and directed light sources for illumination of water drops.  These reflect in drops, and may result in blown-out areas.  Use only a diffused flash if possible.

  4. Water drop management: A wider, deeper pool of water results in a higher bouncing drop.  A drop centered on the surface rather than closer to one edge results in a more predictable bounce that is more likely to be straight up and down.

  5. Reflection management: Reflections should be centered in the drop and fill the drop to avoid getting unwanted background reflection.  Point the camera lens at the center of your subject, then get your water drop to bounce into the line of sight using step #4 as a guide .... and step #1 to maintain sanity.  This of course only applies if you want the subject to be centered behind the drop.  If this is not the goal, all bets are off!

  6. Power: Keep lots of backup rechargeable batteries on hand.  There will be a lot of clicking and flashing and you won't want to pause while you wait for recharging.  With all that clicking and flashing, keep in mind that if your pictures start to look grainy, it could be a sign that your sensor is overheated, and it may be time to give your camera a rest.

  7. Snap that photo!:  The following is taken from my previous post on water drop reflection, and copied here for completeness:

    1. Set your camera to Manual mode to maintain control over both a fast shutter and the level of detail in your background.
    2. Hold a pencil in front of your lens.  When the point is in focus, you have found the focus location.  Adjust the bag so drips meet up with this location.  Alternatively, hold the pencil point where the drops are landing, and adjust the lens so its' focus location coincides.
    3. 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.
    4. Use your cameras remote shutter release software to view your image and snap your picture for maximum control and to eliminate camera shake.


  1. This is amazing! Gonna try this very soon...

  2. Good luck Simon - it's definitely worth the effort!

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  4. Thanks Travel-Zoom - glad you enjoy my blog!

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