I am planning a research project that will focus on close-up photography of liquid drops and splashes. So far, I have no photos of my own to illustrate this post, but here is the equipment list for the setup that will be developed in the Fluids Lab:

  • Camera. I will use a Canon 5D Mark II or 5D Mark III, since it has higher resolution than a Canon EOS-1D X. The higher framing rate of the 1D X offer no advantage in this case, since the motion will be frozen by the flashes.
  • Lens. I will start with a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens, but a Canon EF 180mm f3.5L Macro might be a better option for shooting from greater distance.
  • Shallow water tank (tray). I plan to ask the students to build a shallow water tank that would be quite long, so we could shoot along its length and avoid getting the front and back edges into the frame.
  • Studio flashes. Three Paul C. Buff’s “Einstein” lights will be triggered by dedicated radio triggers. Two of them will be positioned on the sides of the tank, and the third one will be placed behind a semi-transparent background.
  • Intervalometer. I will use a trigger for the camera and the valves that will release the drops. There are several options, including a Time Machine/Drip kit.

I am looking forward to this project (should it be called a still life, even though the droplets would be in motion?) and hope to post the updates with our first droplet images soon.