So, why would I want to tell you how I did it and spoil the illusion of my great skill and photography prowess? Do I really want to let you in on the secret that it is really very simple and actually requires no great skill or expensive photographic equipment?
Oh, what the hell, you did all ask so nicely.
So, here is what you need:
A camera with a flash - the built-in kind works just fine (that is all I have, after all).
There, that is it for the actual taking of the photo. I told you it was simple, didn't I? No strobes, no expensive lighting systems, no coloured lights or dancing girls. The camera doesn't have to be expensive either, and you don't need a very fast camera. In fact, the opposite is true - this shot is actually taken at a relatively slow shutter speed.
My camera is a Nikon D80, and I used the lens that it came with - 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 i.e. a cheap lens, nothing special.
OK, so here is what I did:
Set up my camera on the tripod in the bathroom - you need the tripod since you are using a slow shutter speed.
Selected the following settings:
- Aperture - 5.6 (keep it wide open to blur the background)
- Shutter speed - 1/8th second (you want it slow to catch the movement of the drop)
- Flash up and set for rear curtain sync.
- Remember your white balance - set to flash.
Now, sit, point and shoot. And shoot. And shoot. This is the most frustrating part and will probably drive you as nuts as a dripping tap does in the middle of the night when you can't sleep. You will end up with a lot of photos of just the tap. But, once in a while, you will catch the drop. Unfortunately, you can't use the continuous shoot mode, because your flash won't recycle quickly enough.
Oh, yes, you might want to clean your tap first, otherwise everyone that sees your photo will know that you are a bit of a household slut.
So, you now have your photo. Here is mine, SOOC:
As you can see, I am a household slut. Ooops.
Now, you have to go to your photo editing software. I use Photoshop CS3, and that is all I have and all I know how to use. So I shall show you what I did with this software. You will have to modify for whatever you use. Here we go:
- Crop image and convert to black and white.
- Adjust contrast using contrast tool or curves.
- Sharpen image with unsharp mask.
- Add a filter - I chose the deep blue, density 100%
- Adjust contrast, brightness etc as desired.
There you go. Not so difficult was it?
If you want to just colour the water drop, you will have to add the photo filter to its own layer and then remove the colour from where you don't want it. I used the cyan photo filter for my drop.
And so the illusion is shattered and I will have to return to being a photography mere mortal. Oh well, it was great while it lasted........