I like high speed photography, but I am limited to what I can do within my studio space and with the equipment I have. So I usually focus on dropping things, this weekend it was gelatinous cubes and colored water.
The gelatinous cubes were a new for me, and still require refinement to the gel composition. I bought clear Knox gelatin and made two batches. (I did add food coloring to the mix for contrast.) The first batch was a little mushy while the second batch was firmer like a Jell-O giggler. The softer batch worked better, providing more deformity while tumbling and a better splat upon impact. As I dropped the cubes and sphere I hit the shutter release button. The squishy cubes lasted for about 10 drops depending on the height of the drop. While the very firm sphere appeared indestructible. I may try this again, possibly throwing the cubes against a wall instead of dropping them.
|Firm Sphere Impact|
|Squishy Cube Impact|
I have worked with water drops before. When I usually do these I fill a dish with water. Then hold a plastic Ziploc bag filled with water and food coloring with a hole over the dish and hit the shutter release. This is hugely a trial and error process. Besides my usual process, I also tried just having the water drip directly onto a hard surface, this appeared to work nicely. I then modified my drop mixture. I added corn starch to the water in the baggie, this thickened the mixture. However, this also reduced the translucence of the drops. The mixture appeared to produce better patterns, so I may try this with a gelatin mixture so I can keep the translucence of straight water.
|Cornstarch Mix on hard surface|
|Water drop into pool of water|
|Water on hard surface|
The set up for both shoots were as follows. I placed a clear sheet down on the table to protect it. I then stood white foam board on top of the table for the background. I connected the plastic to white foam board sides to create side walls and to two stands to create a catch basin of sorts. I then placed my camera with flash, macro lens and shutter release trigger on a tripod angled down towards the drop surface. I used bounce flash technique for most of the shots.
Overall this was productive time in the studio. I like the water drop results but think the gelatinous cube shots need work.