Drip feed your Nikon

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

1 Get set up

You’ll need a bowl or dish to hold the wa­ter and a pipette – or ‘eye­drop­per’ – to squeeze wa­ter out, a drop at a time. The height that you hold your pipette will de­ter­mine the shape and size of your wa­ter drop, so ex­per­i­ment with dif­fer­ent el­e­va­tions and see what you pre­fer.

2 Add some flash

The key to good wa­ter drop pho­tog­ra­phy is to place a flash ei­ther side of the bowl, fir­ing across the end of your lens (so it’s wise to use a lens hood to pre­vent flare from spoil­ing your shot). This gives shape and form to your splash, mak­ing it seem like a sculp­ture in your fi­nal shot.

3 An­gle your cam­era

Mount your Nikon to a tri­pod and line it up with the dish of wa­ter so that you have a slight down­wards an­gle across the sur­face of the wa­ter. This an­gle helps to elim­i­nate the edge of the bowl in the back­ground, which would other­wise be a dis­trac­tion.

4 Lock the fo­cus

Zoom in un­til your en­tire frame is filled with wa­ter. Place the pipette in the cen­tre of the bowl and us­ing aut­o­fo­cus to fo­cus on the pipette un­til it’s sharp. Then slide the AF switch to the man­ual fo­cus po­si­tion to avoid the cam­era at­tempt­ing to fo­cus each time you take a shot.

5 Set the ex­po­sure

We used a close-up fil­ter to fo­cus closely on the drop (see page 88 for more on these). In man­ual mode we set an aper­ture of f/16 for in­creased depth of field, a 1/200 sec shut­ter speed to match the flash sync speed and ISO100 to min­i­mize noise.

6 Time it right

Us­ing a re­mote shut­ter re­lease gives you the abil­ity to be fur­ther away from your Nikon cam­era body. This is help­ful if you’re shoot­ing by your­self, so you can trig­ger the shut­ter at the pre­cise mo­ment that you si­mul­ta­ne­ously re­lease the wa­ter drop.

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