Discussions (147)

STICKY SplashArt MKII Quick Start Guide / Instructions

view profile

Joe Dyer is a group administrator Joe Dyer says:

SplashArt Kit MKII Quick Start Guide

Setup stand as shown.

SplashArt Kit MKII by Joe Dyer

Insert power supply lead into the left hand socket
Plug the solenoid lead into the centre socket.
Connect camera to right hand socket.

Plain milk is the easiest liquid to start with 3/4 fill the tank.

SplashArt Control Settings

From the left

First Dial changes the size of the first drop.

Second Dial changes the delay between drops.

Third Dial changes the size of the second drop.

Bottom Dial adjusts the camera delay.

Black Button activates the drop sequence.

A good starting point is all dials at 10 to.

Single Drop Mode

Holding the start button down for 3 seconds switches the unit between single and twin drop mode. Single drop mode is good for producing “Crowns” in a shallow tray or container (spoons are good)

Basic Camera Settings

Manual Mode
1/200 sec - Highest speed determined by the max sync speed of your camera
f/9.0 – f/16 - Eliminates ambient light and adjusts DOF in image

Lens - Set to manual focus


When you have your first drops landing in your container it is time to focus on them.
I use a number of aids to help with this task.
1. A standard hacksaw blade with a centre mark
2. A junior hacksaw blade with a centre mark
3. A wooden skewer in a blob of blu tac

Position the drop in your container then position your guide so that the drop clips the mark on the blade or hits the skewer.

Now manually focus on the saw teeth or on the skewer just above the water line.

Bring the focus guide a couple of mm closer to the camera than the drop point should ensure that the front of the splash is in good focus.


In order to freeze the shot set the flash to 1/32 power or less in manual mode
At f/9.0 – f/16 and a low power flash you will need to get the flash or flashes in close to the action 20-30cm, this is best achieved with a radio trigger from the hot shoe of your camera.
You can also use a speedlight as a master on the camera to fire slaves to illuminate the drops.
Correct exposure is achieved by varying the distance of the flash.

If you are photographing milk or similar you can light the drop.
For water or other specular liquids light the background or create a reflection on the surface.

White Balance

As the only light exposing the image is created by the flash it is best if you can use a custom white balance.

Ready to go

Press the button on the SplashArt Control.
Your camera should activate and the flash should fire.
It will take a few drops for the solenoid and nozzle fill.
Your first SplashArt picture appears on the camera!

Changing the settings during use

When you change any of the drop parameters during a session the system will take one or two drops to equalise, this is quite normal.

Drop Behaviour

You will obviously learn a lot of this with practice, but here are a few of my own observations

1. If the crown shatters increase the size of the second drop.
2. To see the shape and height of the spike increase the delay between drops to maximum this will keep the second drop out of the way.
3. A smaller first drop produces a more slender spike.
4. If the spike is leaning over adjust the nozzle to correct.
5. The energy in the drop is dependant on the size of the drop and the distance it falls the more energy in the first drop a deeper the container is required to get a spike.

It is a good idea to stick with one medium to start with, I highly recommend Milk. As there are so many variables one fixed element will speed up your understanding of the behaviour of both the drops and your SplashArt Kit

Changing Nozzles

If you want to change the nozzle on the solenoid make sure that you use some PTFE tape or PTFE paste
and screw the nozzle in firmly – don’t over tighten though.

If you don’t have a seal the nozzle will drip after each drop as it sucks air in.

Nozzle Vertical Alignment Tip (SplashArt Kit with stand)

Use the ball head to align the front / back plane first then use the rod securing screw to alignthe left / right plane

Don’t Clog Up Your Solenoid

The whole head can be removed from the stand using the rear screw that attaches the ball socket to the aluminium bar.
If you are using any liquid other than pure water clean the liquid handling components after each use.
When you have cleaned the tank and rinsed it out, run some very hot water through the system to flush the solenoid and nozzle.
Store the unit with the tank upside down so that any stray residue does not drift down into the valve.

Useful Links

PhotoTrigger and SplashArt user group on flickr

Lighting Setups.

Corrie White the Queen of water drop photography

Contact Details

High Speed Photography
31 Roebuck Lane
Buckhurst Hill

Originally posted at 4:42AM, 12 October 2012 PDT (permalink)
Joe Dyer edited this topic 39 months ago.

view photostream


" Simples "
81 months ago (permalink)

view photostream

Caz 16 says:

hi does anyone on her use an olympus on the splash art kit thank you
22 months ago (permalink)

view photostream

Jim Greer, says:

I'm from the US. Great unit, well built !
Originally posted 17 months ago. (permalink)
Jim Greer, edited this topic 17 months ago.

view photostream

Ted 7D says:

Hi why do I only get one drip from my splash art kit?
2 months ago (permalink)

view photostream

Jim Greer, says:

Ted 7D:

Sounds like your in single drop mode. Push the black button in for about 10sec release. Don't keep your finger on the button for a long time, just touch it to release. There's two modes. single drop mode good for shooting crowns. I think this is the mode your in. Do what I said above it should go into double drop mode. Hope this helps.
2 months ago (permalink)

view photostream

Ted 7D says:

Thanks Jim I should have remembered that, it must be my age.
2 months ago (permalink)

Would you like to comment?

Sign up for a free account, or sign in (if you're already a member).