Friday, 11 January 2013

Weekend Photography Idea - Water Drops on a CD

My friend, John Anderson is our guest blogger today. I saw his photo a few weeks ago on Facebook and asked him if he would share how he took the photo... take it away John...

These types of "experiment and play" photo's can be a lot of fun and very rewarding. After taking many of these types of photos over the course of a few days I realized that not one turns out the same, so your keepers are a "one of a kind" :) I also found myself up quite late, as I found it hard to pack up my camera because I was having so much fun.
Here's how I " took the shot"

*Your camera and lens of course. ( I flip flopped between a 70-200mm and a 90mm)
*A sturdy tripod
*Shutter release ( corded or cordless will do) If you don't have one I suggest setting the timer for a 2 second delay to prevent any shake
*A water dropper and a bowl of water
*A CD or DVD ( preferably scratch free or close to it)
*Led flashlight ( I used a Mag Light) Lowe's sells them for $10 right now. You can also use a regular flash light.
*Gels (optional)
*Black cloth (silk or muslin is good) or black card board.
*A room that is pitch black, as you will be leaving your shutter open for 10-30 seconds.
*A flat surface such as a table, ironing board or coffee table. ( I used an ironing board) If your surface isn't even and flat your water drops will move and run off the CD.

First off. Make sure you have everything listed above in the area you'll be working in. Nothing worse than running around when your all set up looking for something and not having it :(

Set up your table, or ironing board on a flat surface.

I found the ironing board great because it was easy to move around and I could get a lot of different angles. Set up your camera on the tripod and choose your lens.

Set your black cloth or card board on the surface of choice then put the CD or DVD on top. Now grab your water dropper and water and randomly place drops of water all over the disc using different spacing and water drop sizes.

Now position your camera in any position you want. Remember, there is no right or wrong position to set up in. Just get creative and try many different angles.

Keeping the light on, focus on the portion of the disc you wish to capture in your image. I recommend using manual focus. If you use auto focus your camera will try to focus once you try and take the photo in the dark thus leaving nothing to focus on.

Set your shutter to stay open for about 10 seconds to start.

Turn your flashlight on, turn the light out and hit the shutter release button or your remote. As soon as you hit the button start shining the flash light around the disc ( keeping your hand out of view of the shot).

You can then start playing around with the time after that, but 10 seconds is a good starting point. what you will notice as you shine the light around is the colourful prism display that's on the disc.

Putting the flashlight close to the disc and just leaving it in one spot is likely to render your shot blown out with light.

Try different distances away from the disc as well. This will allow you to leave the shutter open longer allowing you to catch more vibrant colour in your shot.

You can also hold a coloured gel in front of the flash light to add to the vibrancy of colour.

A laser pointer will also create a different effect as well. Get creative with the light. " Light is your best friend " Even "lack" of light. :)
That's about it. Take lots of shots at different angles, time and have lots of fun. I promise that you'll get a few keepers for sure to hang up in the music room or bar :)

1) Be careful moving around the table or ironing board. One little bump and you'll have to do your water drops over again.
2) Set your ISO to the lowest setting.
3) Be cautious where the legs of your tripod are. You don't want to tip your camera over.
4) If using a laser pointer ***DO NOT SHINE IN YOUR EYES OR ANYONE ELSES... INCLUDING ANIMALS. Laser light shone directly into the eye can cause vision damage or blindness. USE WITH CAUTION.
5)Photoshop is a great tool to eliminate any scratches or blemishes. Just use the Healing Brush ( The little band aid icon ) You can also play with colour as well.
The EXIF information to the shot provided is as follows.
Canon 60D
F-stop = F-16
Exposure time = 30 seconds
ISO = 100
Focal Length = 90mm
Flash = Not Fired

Thanks for sharing John. If you have any cool photo ideas please send me a photo and a write short description, just as John did, of how "you" took the photo.