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Water Drop Collisions

Here are a collection of Other-worldly images created by the impact of a water drop hitting the splashback from an earlier drop.  The smoothness is achieved by increasing the viscosity of water using xanthan gum.

I have used a device called a Pluto trigger as my control system.  This piece of equipment, along with an iPhone App and the dripper tube is connected to the cable release socket on my camera.  You are able to use the App to specify the size of each drop, the timing between the first, second, and third drops, and the time delay before triggering the camera.

I set the camera to manual focus and the flash sync speed of 1/200th of a second.  I have used two Canon Speedlights to freeze the action.  One is pointing at a white background and was equipped with a selection of coloured gels. The second, using natural light was used as the key illumination. The lower reservoir was clear water and the drip reservoir was filled with viscous water, mixed with milk and food colouring.

By varying the drop sizes, the delay between them and the height of the fall a wide range of variation can be achieved.  Each shot is completely unique and very beautiful.

Part two of the water droplet fun involved removing the water bath and letting the drops hit a hard surface.  The splashes made different shapes each time and were very dependant and how much liquid was already on the plate at the point of impact.  For this set of images, I used a white and a black acrylic sheet for the impacts and created the liquid using a mixture of water, pearlescent, water-soluble, paint and food colourings.

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