Friday, March 16, 2007

Tutorial: How to shot water crown?

Water Crown
Originally uploaded by Icey Cake.
Finally, I found the secure ingredient to shot water crown in a high successful rate.

The following list is what you need to take water crown shot.

Camera: Prefer the latest model of DSLR. However, any camera with burst mode should work. Digital camera is the best because you can see the results immediately. Point & Shoot cameras are fine but they normally do not have high shoot speed so it will be harder to capture the water droplet.

Lighting: It's great if you have external lighting source such as flash or other lightings projects directly to the water surface.

Lens (Assuming using SLR/DSLR): If you are using flash, I prefer using a zoom lens (I used Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS USM L + 2x extender). If you have external lighting projects directly on the water surface, you can use close up/macro lens (macro ring flash is the best of course).

Materials: Any liquid will work. Milk is a great choice. If you are using water, I suggest to add a couple drops of food dye (red and blue work the best). Of course, you need a bowl to hold the liquid.

Other: You must have a tripod and a shutter release. Camera remote will work only if the remote all you to do burst shoot.

When you have all the materials ready, here is how I shot.

  1. Mount the lens, flash, DSLR, and tripod together.
  2. Change DSLR to shutter priority. You can try 1/500 or 1/1000 for shutter speed. Change ISO to match the lighting condition (ISO 100 or 200). Increase EV if necessary.
  3. Pour some water into a bowl and put into a sink.
  4. Add a couple drop of food dye.
  5. Change the DSLR to manual focus. Focus the water surface as much as possible. Don't worry if you don't get it right at this time.
  6. Drop some water droplets to the bowl of water. Figure out the water dropping point on the water surface. Focus that point as much as possible.
  7. Take a couple shots while the water is dropping into the bowl.
  8. Preview the shots (I prefer to load the photos into a computer and view it there).
  9. If the dropping point is out of focus, adjust the focus ring based on the current focus in the current picture.
  10. Repeat the focus procedure until you get the right focus.
  11. Now, you can use boost shot to as many photo as possible. You should be able to pick a couple good one from them.
Please goto Flickr to more discussion about this topic.