I have posted this after some very complimentary comments and suggestions by some great people on this forum!
I always had a desire to learn about photography, but NEVER owned any camera other than a point and shoot or small compact digital, until I got my Nikon D60 last Christmas, so my ability and skill set is pretty minimal, but I am keen to learn more from people’s success and experiences and found a great deal of information on DPS…..so I am not professing to be all knowing or claiming my way is the best way.
I have viewed many ‘share your shots’ for this project and a couple of weekends ago tried my luck to see if I could get a fairly decent shot after reviewing everyone’s comments, suggestions, learning more about how my Nikon D60 works and tidying our kitchen so I could have a clean working environment (my wife particularly approved of this and then fact that the project kept me quiet for a few hours!)
Lens: 18-55mm Standard issue lens
Focal Length: 55mm
Location / Situation:
My kitchen, with the ‘normal’ halogen ceiling lighting spotlights to illuminate and also sunlight from a window on the right hand side.
I also tried using a LED headlight from my mountain bike on a couple of the shots, but mostly relied on the ambient / normal light available in my kitchen and did not use a flash (I currently only have the inbuilt flash on the D60). The light form the autofocus provided some light, as did the reflection from the daylight and halogens on the stainless steel.
We have a Stainless Steel kitchen sink and I filled this with water, almost to the top.
We have a single central water spout/tap which is raised well above the sink.
To get the ‘drip’ to be constant I turned the cold tap slightly, so that there was a drip…..drip……drip every couple of seconds (This I used as a ‘metronome’ to gauge when the droplet would fall and potentially hit the sink full of water……this is pretty important and you will need to judge and click the shutter ‘in time’, but this will come if you can tune into the drip sequence.)
Click too soon and you get:
Click too late and you get:
As detailed, I did not use a tripod as I wanted to try to get as close to the water as I could and also to get on the same level, or as close to the water level as I could. I had the tripod in the background in case it was needed. I stood and moved to get as close to the water level as I could, rather than taking the shot form a higher position.
1. Learn to ‘listen and see’ the drip from the tap / drop through the air / and water hit on the water’s surface (when and where?) – look and find the location of the ‘water hit’ on the surface. This is where you need to focus and hold this focus until the next drip comes. I found that it was easy to watch for a splash and focus onto a ‘splash’ (the change in colour and shape really helped achieve this). You then need to hold the focus. (Keep you finger on the shutter and / or shutter focus lock.)
2. Once you are holding the focus, tune into the ‘drip sequence’ again and wait for the shot, clicking and waiting……..If you lose the focus, you need to stop, refocus and start the procedure again.
3. Make sure you focus and hold the focus, move away and then move back to take the shot. I found if I did not do this I got ‘high motion / blurred’ shots
4. To get the effect you want click the shutter when you think the drop will fall, and/or when you hear the splash, or after the splash……..all this will depend on how tuned in to the drip you are, your reaction time and the effect you want.
5. I worked on Shutter Priority and also in Macro mode, switching between the two.
6. I found setting to Macro mode was easier and also meant I could really get close to the water.
7. I shot about 25-30 shots to get the ones I needed, but it did take time to ‘learn’ where and when the shot needed to be made.
I loved the project and as before was driven / encouraged to have a go through all the great info and details on this site…..very inspirational and very gratifying to learn a ‘new trick’.
As above, I am not a teacher, professional or a true photographer and have very limted knowledge, but am LOVING messing around in different situations with my Nikon and find it all so creative and fascinating.
I hope this info may be useful to you, if you find yourself with a spare hour on a cold, wet, Sunday afternoon at home?