High Speed Photography - Part II



Photographing water splashes- an old idea, but requires perfect timing and extraodinary strokes of luck (well, not that extraodinary).

Note that all photos on this page are not edited, enhanced or whatever'ed in any way. (Apart from resizing, which is not against my rules)

All photos were taken with 1/1000s shutter speed, with assisting flash. Also, no professional setups here... all done in a bathroom sink!

Here you can see the bubbles in the water as it streams from the tap.

Right when the water head makes the first splash. The classic "rising water wall" thing is very evident. About the knife? Well I don't know, it was just the first thing I saw when I went looking for something to splash on.
Impact on the sink as the water head smashes down. You can see that this one was quite badly timed. Four rings of water have formed already from four separate water drops. Its strange, how the water from a tap is 'segmented' into big drops instead of a constant stream. I guess that has alot to do with the sudden yanking of the tap when I take these photos.
The birth of life? The segmented water droplets can clearly be seen here. The flash of ligth at the bottom was an accident, but it seems to add to the effect.
Complete chaos occuring in the splash. The rings of water are awesome, yet strange. I love the impact water droplets on the left and right side, makes the whole thing look alot more dramatic. This photo won me a runner up in the Young Australian Art Awards in 2006.
Mega mega fat humongous water droplets smashing onto the surface. So heavy are these water droplets in fact, that alot of water around them is displaced into the air.

The first of a newer batch of photos (taken 5 Nov 2006). Instead of water falling on hard surfaces (as in all the photos above), these are about water to water contact. As you'll see, some interesting things happen...

These were also taken in a bathroom sink, with appropriate backdrops to create the effect wanted. The shutter speed was increased to 1/2000 sec, flash assisted. Single drops of water are dropped using the bottom convex surface of a small glass vial.

The water surface is literally sent rippling violently as an unwelcome visitor water drop annihiliates the surface.

Imagine a water drop... a fraction of a millisecond away from falling into liquid. Here it is! This was actually a mistimed capture. However I love how the droplet and water surface both look glassy clean.

What will happen when the water drop strikes? The next few photos will take you through the life of a water drop.

Kabam! If you look carefully, you'll notice the drop here and the one above aren't in fact in the same position. Well you're right, because these are a series of different photos put together- not an actual string of photos taken.

The tip of the "spike" is about to break off into a shape similar to a glass disco ball. Well, I don't know... that's just the first thing I thought of.

Here, the "glass ball" segment has just cut off from the rest of the spike. The base of the spike starts to form a mini crater which will ultimately send out a nice circular ripple.
As the spike crashes down, it displaces the water around it, and you can already see the ripple starting to spread like a mini tsunami.
And of course what goes up must come down. The "glass ball" falls into something looking like a whirlpool at this stage. Reminds me of a pearl in a clam.
The drop is viciously sucked away and distributed into the final ripple, after which all returns back to normal. And such is karma for the poor little water drop, waiting to be sucked away into the drain after his moment of fame on Penguin's Lab.
Wow! Its a crystal ball! The sparkle is due to the new backdrop, which allows the water to reflect a greater percentage of the light than before (the metal from the sink used to reflect a lot, just take another look at the photos above!).
Similar situation. I've never been able to explain the small circular ripple to the top right hand corner of this photo. Perhaps its a fragment of a water drop from the impact? Perhaps its the slowly leaking tap?
Ah! Changed the backdrop for a lighter effect. The metal at the bottom of the sink is the casing of an old CD-ROM drive, and its there to hide the ugly ugly UGLY sink plug. Its kind of nice actually, because the ripples gently blur together the edges of the CD-ROM cover and the sink.
Splash! The plastic lid of the glass vial is thrown into the water and everything goes chaotic.

More Photos!

I like fast loading pages, and this one would really be slow if I had included all the water splashes on it. If you want to see the rest (there are 12 more), you can click on the links below to view high res. versions directly.

"Tap" - This is similar to the first one on this page, except with faster, white, rushing water.

"Waterspout" - A waterspout on a knife!

"Absorbtion" - A large water droplet is absorbed and transformed into a splash.

"Conquering" - An army of water molecules spread rapidly through an unknown world.

"Splosh" - Self explanatory

"Rippling fear" - Comparable to machine gun fire if you think in an abstract sense.

"Chaos" - Absolute chaos with the tap turned on pretty hard

"The Crater" - A water asteroid has attacked!

"Water rope" - A liquid rope with knots on it.




Back to Penguin's Lab


© Penguin's Lab 2012