Well if I can do it, ANYONE can…

18 03 2012

OK, so I don’t claim these are actually that good at all, but I proved to myself that I could, in principle, capture the image of an ink drop in water.

Should I ever want to do it “properly”, I learned enough things this afternoon to do it w-a-a-a-y better next time. Allow me to share, and save you some time…

I took the Red Bubble set up as pretty much the starting place. A couple of things I learned though…

1) Don’t have the water container too close to the monitor… a round container acts like a lens, and you can actually see the pixel grid on the monitor, get interference patterns, etc. Probably better to get a more even light source. Outside on a sunny day? at least have the container sufficiently far infront of the monitor that the light is diffuse.

2) You might even be better with a flat-sided glass container. Perhaps an IKEA vase. This avoids the curved lens effect.

3) Use distilled water, or boiled water, and a very clean glass container. Otherwise you get little bubbles stuck to the insides, and the AF can lock onto them. (I wiped them off with a clean cloth.)

4) (Thanks to Bijou for this tip.) Focus is a pig, due to the moving ink. In the end, I used a fork in the middle of the container to give something nice for the AF to lock onto in roughly the place the ink would be, then switched to Manual to stop the camera hunting around.

5) I actually used food colouring – it seems to spread better than writing ink… and comes in a better range of colours.

6) Finally, I used the software “remote control” tool for my Canon, and set the ISO speed high, to allow the shutter speed/multi-shot to be pretty rapid whilst keeping the DoF as long as possible, by mucking with the light sources.

Above all… have some fun. If they don’t come out that good, so what? If you enjoyed the attempt, and didn’t spill water in either your fancy DSLR or your keyboard, who cares?

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3 responses

19 03 2012
misfits' miscellany

Not bad. As an animation I’m reminded of The Wall, for some reason.

19 03 2012
Quieter Elephant

Worms in your brain again?

19 03 2012
misfits' miscellany

Pass me the can opener, nurse!

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