Photo of the day. Close up photography of water droplets.

This are some images I took a while ago. I first tried this with milk and the results was not what I was hoping for. Lighting was not the best. The idea on this type of photography, aside of capturing the water droplet properly and sharp, is to have nice reflections and some highlights and shadows created by the ripples, thus enhancing the image by adding some depth.

Front lighting is not the way to approach this topic, unless you are looking for a flat looking image without any sence of relief. The way to do it (one of them at least) is to use one or more lights detached from the camera. In this set up I used one light; if you can imagine a clock I was at 12 the water droplet was the center of the clock and the flash was at 4 pointing at the droplets.

The set up was quite simple. Pirex with water on a low table. The camera was sitting on the tripod in front of the pirex I was using a Canon EF 100mm f2.8 Macro lens set at f8 for good depth of field. Speed was at 200 and ISO at 100. The key to illuminate the water here is the flash, that is what is going to not only light the frame but also freeze the action; therefore I set the Canon 580EXII to manual and lower the power to let say 1/64th  and from there find the right output up or down until you have the right exposure. 

What I used for the droplets was an empty gallon of milk with some water in it, poke the smallest hole you can (I mean this) you just want a constant drip and that is it. Hung it from something above the pirex (about 30 inches) that way you don’t have to be holding the gallon. Doing this will keep the source of water still and the droplet will hit the same place every time. Set your lens to manual and focus the place where the droplet hits, and the rest is fun time.

If you have a cable release it going to be useful. Also, the amount of water on the pirex and the distance of the water gallon to the pirex will determine the shape of the splash.

For more fun. If you change the withe balance to Tungsten the picture will turn out blue. If you put a color source in the back of the pirex and point the flash to it the relection of it will light up the water creating some interesting results.

I’ll upload some more with the different colors if anyone care.

Thanks for looknig.


PS: If you have any questions or comments free free to post or share your thoughts.




Photo of the day. Still life photography

IMG_1392-croppedHere is a container that caught my attention at a friend’s house; I asked his to lend it to me and here it is. I like to play with it a bit more since I’m not quite sure what to group it with to make the image.

The lighting on this one is just one side (left) main light Canon 580EX trigered with a Canon 580EXII as a master. On the right side I placed a silver reflector to fill in the shadows just a bit.


Photo of the day. Dice roll

I just found this set of dice that belong to my grandma. I can’t tell how old they are but I know I used to play with them as a kid (just a few years ago 😉

Pretty simple set up. Two umbrellas, one on each side Canon 430EXII on the left and Canon EX 580EX on the right the master was a Canon 580EXII and the ratio was set 3:1 and I shot them on ETTLII The lens was a Canon EFS 10-22 F3.5 4.5 USM set at 20mm  f7.1  ISO 200 Speed at 250th .

dice roll

Close up of flowers.

The other day my wife got this flowers and the moment I saw them I thought, picture time. I took a whole bunch of pictures and although I liked them I was looking for something different with more punch, so I decided to change the back ground from solid to a white silk and light it from behind with a Canon 580 EX and Canon 430EXII flashes with a Canon 580EXII as the master. I went really close and shot some pictures with a Canon EF 50mm  1.4 at F5.6 ISO 200 Speed 100th . The flash mounted on the camera pointed to my back  (reversed the head) and put a reflective surface behind me to bounce some of the light as a fill for the flowers. And this is the result.

Thanks for looking

Alex Elias


Macro Photo of the day. Feathers

Lately I started to look at common items around the house and get up close; really really close. This is what some feathers look like with a macro lens Canon EF 100 mm 2.8. I guess aside from having the lens and something to photograph what is paramount for this king of images it’s the lighting. Here I used only one light Canon 580 EXII flash  directly to the right of the image, diffused with silk, on the left side I placed a reflective surface to bounce some of the light back into the left side of the image as a fill light. This lighting shows the texture of the feather and makes it for an interesting image.

Pretty cool what a simple feather can look like up close. Lots of common items can become a topic of abstract  photography when we get close enough. Play with shapes, textures and shadows, and take lots of pictures until you are happy with the results. Besides it’s free. Unless you are shooting with film.

Some tips for this kind of images.

  1. A tripod it’s helpful. (very  helpful )
  2. If the camera has mirror lock up function make sure you use it. It helps reduce vibrations.
  3. A cable release it’s also a good way to help reduce movements. Otherwise you can used the self time on the camera along with the mirror lock up feature.
  4. A small F stop. Since the working distance it’s not much at all so it’s the depth of field (DOF) very narrow, you’ll be surprised how little it’s in focus when working like this. F8 or smaller F11 depending on the subject it’s not a bad stating point (play arround and see what suits your subject) if the camera has DOP preview that will give you a good indication.
  5. Set the lens to manual and use the live mode to aid focusing.
  6. Make sure you have enough light ( you’ll have to play with it) if you have a flash do not use it  directly on the subject, otherwise you are most likely burn it (over expose) or have unattractive results. Try detaching the flash from the  camera (if your are using one) with a cable or wireless. Use something to diffuse the flash like silk, fabric or something like it will do.
  7. Have lots of fun





Flowers still life.

If you already spent $$$ on flowers get the most out of them. Make some one happy take some good pictures ( I forgot this time) while they are fresh and then take some more before they hit the inevitable trash can.

Here is the final product. The lens used for this picture was the Canon EF 100 mm 2.8 Macro at F4 Speed 125 and ISO 200. I use one Flash Canon 580EXII through a unbrella, so lighting was pretty simple as you can see.

Thanks for looking.

Alex Elias