We are a group of photography enthusiasts who are passionate about anything of photography, in particulary, water drop photography, high speed photography, and macro photography.

Our passion about photography does not stop at photographying the world, we are actively inventing, building tools to further ultilize modern technologies to explore and advance photographical techniques.

Focus stacking is a powerful method to extend depth of field by taking a series of images at different focal plane and use computer software to pick the sharpest part of each image for the final result. One way to acquire such series of images is by moving the camera towards or away from the subject (or by moving subject towards or away from the camera) so that different part of the subject will be in focus in each image. Then by applying computer algorithm, these images will be combined into one sharp image.

In order to move the camera (or the subject for that matter) and automate the process of image captures, an automated rail system is preferred method. However, current products on the market are extremely expensive and many macro photographers have to do it manually which is a tedious work to do. Besides expensive rail system, good stacking software are either expensive (but really good) or difficult to use (though free).

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Water drop photography 

On this page you will find many tips and tricks for your water drop photography, we provide 1, 3 and 6 drop systems. See here. If you have any question please use the email form to contact us.

It is very easy to use so you can relax and sit back because you can change parameters from few feet away from your setup using an IR remote control. And when you are ready to capture, simply press a button on the remote.

Because it comes with a 1, 3 or 6 valve controller, you can expand to more complex operations with multiple valves and bottles in the future by adding up to two more valve and bottles.

1- Guaranteed Water Drop Collision

Did you say guaranteed splash with StackRail Waterdrop systems? Yes! This actually works for any other water drop equipment, as long as it has a digital reading, not just limited to StackRail Waterdrop systems. For beginners in water drop photography, getting the first water drop collision is very exciting, as I was, but getting collisions consistently is something many beginners struggle with and it takes some time and patience. But there is a way to do so!

The method described here is very generic and independent of thickness of water solution, independent of water pressure, independent of height of setup, so without further ado, here is how:

Step 1 — Set number of drop to ONE, Flash Delay to some reasonable value. If you like math, you can estimate this value by using this formula: FD (Flash Delay) = Square Root of (0.2041 * H) where H is the height of drop, i.e, from the tip of dropping nozzle to catching basin. If you do not like math, you can find this out by setting Flash Delay to some small value, set your lens to zooming out (shorter focal length) so you capture the whole scene, and gradually increase it.

Step 2 — Finding exact moment when a drop hits water surface. — adjust FD (Flash Delay) and take pictures so that the drop is just about to hit water surface (shown as 1 in above picture). Fine tune it until you get 3 in above picture where the drop is half way in the water surface. Record the Flash Delay, in above picture case, the actual Flash Delay is 345. For your setup, it could be (most likely so) different.

Step 3 — Adjust Flash Delay until you get tallest Worthington jet like the 4th one in above picture. Record the Flash Delay reading, in above picture, it is 485.

Step 4 — Set number of drops to 2. Set the size of second drop to be moderate, in above picture, it is 60, same as the first one.

Step 5 —  Calculate delay between 1st and 2nd drops: 485(peak) – 345 (reaching surface) – 60 (size of second drop) = delay needed between 1st and 2nd drops, which in this case 80. What does it mean? It means if the second drop can reach the water surface while the first one is peaking, there must be a collision (unless the Worthington jet is too thin and not going straight up)

After setting delay between 1st drop and 2nd drop to 80, I got collision splash like those shown as 5 and 6 in above picture.

This is very repeatable, though less interesting than those by pro dropper, nonetheless, it is a start.

2- Getting Wine Glass Shaped Collision

When I first started water drop photography, I struggled a bit even though I designed my own water drop equipment. After figuring out how to get guaranteed collisions described in Guaranteed Water Drop Collision post, I wanted more. I accidentally stumble upon one shape that looks like wine glass and I liked it a lot.

It was illusive at first, I was not able to repeat it. But eventually, I figured it out.
Here are some wine glass shaped collisions that I can create repeatedly and consistently by following the steps below.

Step 1 — Set number of drops to one. Follow the instruction in Guaranteed Water Drop Collision so that the drop just hit the catching surface.

Step 2 — Adjust drop size to moderate value so that the Worthington jet it forms is very thick, but usually very short as shown in the first image in above picture. There is no need to take a picture, you can actually see the jet. Here is a tip: the larger the drop size, the taller and thinner the Worthington jet until certain point this will not be true.

Step 3 — Adjust Flash Delay value until the Worthington jet is peaking. At the same time, also adjust drop size describe in Step 2.

Step 4 — Set number of drops to two and set drop size of second drop to be about 10% to 15% bigger than the first drop.

Step 5 — Use the method in Guaranteed Water Drop Collision to get a collision. Adjust both Flash Delay and/or delay between the two drops.

Step 6 — Setting larger drop size of the second drop will probably result in “double” chin wine glass shape.

To conclude, essentially, to create a wine glass shaped collision is to use two large drops and short delay (but long enough to have a collision) between them.


 More coming soon !