My aim for this was simple: learn the basics of how the SplashArt II kit works and create a setup that can be replicated and elaborated on.
Bonus objective: photograph a crown double droplet impact.
Following the instructions provided with the kit it was remarkably easy to capture a double droplet, I achieved it within the first 5 minutes. It was almost anticlimactic given this is a technique I’ve been attempting to achieve manually for years with no results and suddenly with the right kit it’s made incredibly easy.
That’s not to say there is no skill or challenge involved, far from it. As I always say to my students when you have a good photography your next challenge is to take a great photograph.
When I started experimenting with the settings I discovered the sheer range of possibilities, and the complex interplay of variables that would effect the quality of the droplet. The SplashArt kit allows you to change the size, delay and number of droplets so I played about with this essentially working through trial and error
• Focussing: As with all macro photography focussing was difficult because of the sheer level of precision required. Further confounding the issue is the lack of any surface to focus on, as the droplets are too quick to use. I used a simple solution for this: an HB pencil placed over the water’s surface with the text in the droplet area.
• Stability: When the area you are focussing is only a few centimetres wide the slightest shift in anything can ruin your composition. This wasn’t helped by my forced reliance on a shaky tripod as my main Manfrotto set was elsewhere at the time. I did keep having to adjust the tripod slightly, but in future I think I will just use my most stable tripod which I know to be reliable.