Droplet photos

I reflected the light from a laser pointer on the surface of the table and then onto a photodiode, which was inside a plastic sandwich bag, connected to the board with alligator wires. When the amount of light reaching the diode quickly decreases, the strobe flashes. However, the visible light from the LED is an unavoidable side-effect, since it was clearly visible in the .6 to 1 second exposures I was making.

The liquid was water, which I had in an old tabasco bottle. To dispense the water, I'd tap the bottom of the bottle, and a few droplets would come out. As always, repeat positioning is hard to achieve when doing everything by hand, especially while running the shutter as well.

The lens was my 100mm macro lens stopped down to f/22. Is the flash still too powerful? It certainly was at these close quarters.

Despite all these problems, I had trouble choosing fewer than two dozen photos that I liked well enough to put on this page. Because of the way the light output of the flash starts at its brightest and then decreases, in some images it looks like there are tiny droplets all falling in towards the main splash. (e.g., img_2650.jpg)

Because there's no provision for a delay in my circuit, I initially adopted the "reflecting" scheme, because it made sure the droplet had actually hit the table surface before the flash went off (I thought, anyway). At Chris's suggestion, I did a second batch without the reflection, relying on interruption of the beam in the air. This worked surprisingly well as a trigger technique (with the beam only about 1/4 inch off the table) but as always the focus and composition are borderline at best.

Third Set

Second Set

First Set


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