Colliding water drops

What do you need to capture colliding water drops?

  • A camera with a macro lens. The camera must have the possibility to set the exposure, aperture and ISO manually.
  • One ore more drop valves that release the drops.
  • A controller that controls the valve, the camera and the strobes. You can work manually but then you have little to no control over the droplet size and the delay between 2 drops. That is why a controller like the Pluto Trigger or the FreezeBox is recommended.
  • A long, rectangular acrylic container that you fill with liquid in which you drop the drops. This container can be filled with clear water or water with milk. Or any color you prefer. I recently made a rectangular container because then you can keep the rear edge of the container out of sight. With a round dish you will most likely have the rear edge in sight.
  • Two or three speedlights.
  • An acrylic background that you illuminate with a speedlight.

Making these photos requires a lot of preparation. The water in the valves must have a viscosity such that the droplet rises up out of the water in a beautiful shape. To get this viscosity I use Nutilis Clear. I prefer this because it is easy to use. Just mix it in hot water and cool it down in the fridge. That's it! You're good to go! I also tried Xanthan gum but that is a bit of a hassle. You have to mix it through the water. Mix and mix a bit more, heat in the microwave, mix and then strain through a nylon stocking that you nicked from your wife. That's why I prefer Nutilis Clear. Saves my wife some stockings,...
For both products goes that it is best to cool it down in the fridge. At that temperature, the viscosity is slightly better than that of water at room temperature.

If you want to see more, take a look at my photo stream on via the logo at the bottom of the page.


Wim van Bezouw
Stormstraat 3
5121 TJ Rijen
The Netherlands