But, of course I couldn’t…just drop it, I mean. A rainy afternoon gave me the perfect opportunity to spend time with my camera, my macro lens, and my speed light. After reading the section about recycle time and flash duration in “Understanding Flash Photography” by Bryan Peterson (author of the outstanding book, “Understanding Exposure”) I had to experiment with the example he showed in the article, which was photographing water drops. I set up (almost) exactly as he described, setting a box in my kitchen sink, covering it with a brightly colored striped dress (I didn’t have a Hawaiian shirt), adding a bowl of water, and adjusting the faucet until it dripped into the bowl. I didn’t have two speed lights so I used for one. I set the light on my Joby Gorilla Pod (I now have a use for it again…I stopped using it when I got a conventional tripod) and attached it with a TTL remote cord (I wanted to get right to the task at hand and not hassle with the wireless settings), attached my 105mm macro lens, which he used, and spent the afternoon photographing water drops.
I discovered that it is exceedingly difficult to focus on a water drop. I manually focused on my fingertip while the drop was hitting it and at various times, decreased the aperture so I could get more of the area in focus. However, that goal proved elusive and I never did get the little water crown that I so wanted to capture, in focus front to back. Here are a few of the hundreds of photos I took today. It is addictive!
The first shot is the only one I really liked that used the settings Bryan recommended: ISO 200, f/11., and 1/250 shutter speed. I took the little “crown” of water at f/14, 1/320; the third shot at f/22, 1/250; and the final shot at f/20, 1/320.