Icey Cake 10:07pm, 16 March 2007
Finally, I found the secure ingredients to shot water crown in a high successful rate.

Water Crown

The following list is what you need to take water crown shot.

Prefer the latest model of DSLR. However, any camera with burst mode should work. Digital camera is the best because you can see the results immediately. Point & Shoot cameras are fine but they normally do not have high shoot speed so it will be harder to capture the water droplet.

It's great if you have external lighting source such as flash or other lightings projects directly to the water surface.

Lens (Assuming using SLR/DSLR):
If you are using flash, I prefer using a zoom lens (I used Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS USM L + 2x extender). If you have external lighting projects directly on the water surface, you can use close up/macro lens (macro ring flash is the best of course).

Any liquid will work. Milk is a great choice. If you are using water, I suggest to add a couple drops of food dye (red and blue work the best). Of course, you need a bowl to hold the liquid.

You must have a tripod and a shutter release. Camera remote will work only if the remote all you to do burst shoot.

When you have all the materials ready, here is how I shot.

1. Mount the lens, flash, DSLR, and tripod together.
2. Change DSLR to shutter priority. You can try 1/500 or 1/1000 for shutter speed. Change ISO to match the lighting condition (ISO 100 or 200). Increase EV if necessary.
3. Pour some water into a bowl and put into a sink.
4. Add a couple drop of food dye.
5. Change the DSLR to manual focus. Focus the water surface as much as possible. Don't worry if you don't get it right at this time.
6. Drop some water droplets to the bowl of water. Figure out the water dropping point on the water surface. Focus that point as much as possible.
7. Take a couple shots while the water is dropping into the bowl.
8. Preview the shots (I prefer to load the photos into a computer and view it there).
9. If the dropping point is out of focus, adjust the focus ring based on the current focus in the current picture.
10. Repeat the focus procedure until you get the right focus.
11. Now, you can use boost shot to as many photo as possible. You should be able to pick a couple good one from them.

Anyone has other idea, tips & tricks?
Genohunter 11 years ago
Great tips. Thanks icey cake. I just want to add one small trick :
When I start to shoot, I hit the shooting button way before the water droplet/ dye hitting the surface.

P.S. Also, one small tips for who is using slow shutter speed camera. Please make sure shooting it at JPEG mode only. It would help to reduce the writing speed on the flash card and shooting more!
David Swales 11 years ago
Great tips. I have just done a few shots. I couldn't add them but see below. Instead of using coloured water I used water in a glass bowl with a brightly coloured bit of paper. It does mute the colour but seems to work OK. I need to work a little on the focus

Water drop

Water drop

Water drop
Icey Cake 11 years ago
David: Good job!!! Regarding the focus, u can put a piece of paper on the water surface and manual pre-focus at the location u are going to drop the water.
Genohunter 11 years ago
David: Very nice! In order to get a better focus, I also made sure the droplet right fall into the location that we pre-focus. Have a good one!
I'm really thinking that's more of a motion blur than a mis-focus... trying to figure out the best way to deal with this at this point. :-/
David Swales 11 years ago
After looking at the properties of the photos I only managed 1/200th at best. I will need to improve the lighting as I would rather not puh the ISO too much
Herman Au - PRO Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Herman Au - (admin) 11 years ago
I actually came up with a totally different approach with the light after spoiling many many shots. Right now I'm almost only relying on my SB600 external flash with a sync cord, hand holding it to aim the flash to hit at different angles. Also, I realize that at different flash level, the flash duration differs and that is what I use to light up the ever fast moving water for that split second to get the exposure. Like this one for example was shot at 1/60sec. I think you get the idea.. :-)

Drops of Blue Sapphire (by hermanau)

The difficult part with this method of course, is getting all the right equipment, and setting it up the proper way. After about 300 shots I still couldn't manage to get the flash level exactly the way I wanted and the bounce the flash 100% properly. But then again, it's all about the learning experience for me... :-)
Antariksh Jain Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Antariksh Jain (member) 11 years ago
my best attempt were dese:
Antariksh Jain Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Herman Au - (admin) 11 years ago
Antariksh Jain Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Herman Au - (admin) 11 years ago
Unique_Snowflake 11 years ago
I have to ask. How do you get 1/500 or 1/1000. That's usually significantly faster than the flash sync speed isn't it? What am I missing?
Antariksh Jain Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Herman Au - (admin) 11 years ago
Copy (2) of DSCN5280
Icey Cake 11 years ago
mihi95ab: Using 1/500 or 1/1000 if you are using external source. If use Flash, pretty much we will stuck @ 1/200. One more option is using slow-sync on your flash if it supports it.
Icey Cake 11 years ago
Antarix: That's pretty good!! Try awhile more and you should pick some good shots later on.
Antariksh Jain 11 years ago
i hav a nikon coolpix 7600 point and shoot camera, it takes gr8 patience to shoot water crowns
nikoncrazed 11 years ago
Water hole

My first attempt to shoot a water crown. Thanks for the comments, Icey Cake, Genohunter and mawa 73527.
David Swales 11 years ago
Drop 1

Drop 2

My latest attempts. I managed to get 1/1000 th of a second for these.

I love the colour of your shot Nikoncrazed
Dalantech PRO Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Dalantech (member) 11 years ago
Actually you'll get better results shooting in an area that has very little light -even though that initially sounds counter intuitive ;)

I shoot a lot of hand held macro -lately most of my work has been around twice life size using a macro lens, a 25mm extension tube, and a 1.4 teleconverter. With the camera set to manual mode F11, 1/200 of a second and ISO 100 if the flash does not fire then the resulting image is completely black. So the flash is the only light that the camera records, and since it's duration is 1/1200 of a second that burst becomes a "virtual shutter" (an explanation with an image here). So it doesn't really matter what the shutter speed is set to -the flash is going to freeze the action.

Some of the best drop shots I've seen were taken with a high power flash set to manual mode and at -1 to -2 FEC. Setting a high powered flash to under expose produces a burst of light with a duration of 1/2000 of a second or faster.

Also I think you'll get less glare if you bounce the flash instead of pointing it directly at the water...
HyPer CloUdS Posted 11 years ago. Edited by HyPer CloUdS (member) 11 years ago
The crown!!!

Tish... 10 years ago
thank you for thiese tips i only started today and havent managed to get a crown yet :( does it matter about the depth of the liquid in the bowl?
Tish [Laetitia] it does. if the water is real shallow, the chances of the crown appearing perfectly is much higher. But then the crowners are probably not as pretty if the liquid is clear. Try a shallow container or a smaller container and you might find the crown easier to capture.
varungm 9 years ago
video promotion: Recession -

Colored milk - This snap is the result of more than 70 tries. PS-ed to remove some bubbles nearby and some unwanted ripples. 
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