Water Drop Photography Tutorial with Pluto Trigger

in this video we’re going to be learning
water drop photography using the Adaptalux Studio and the Pluto trigger so
stick around Hi guys i’m Ben from Adaptalux and as
you just heard today we’re looking at water drop photography now i’m really
excited to be a finally trying this out because now we have flash lighting arms
if you didn’t see sam’s announcement video go and check that out because it’s
really exciting news we’re bringing flash to the Adaptalux Studio as
many of you will already know the Adaptalux Studio until now has always
used LED continuous lighting as opposed to flash what that means is the light is
on all the time and there’s no bright quick flash to freeze the subject now
that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to get water drop photos we’ve done it
before using a lot of lighting arms a lot of
light and really fast shutter speeds however flash makes it a lot lot easier
so we’re going to be plugging in our flash arms and trying them out this is
the first time that i’ve been able to to use them since sam has finished off the
prototypes so i’m really excited to find out what they can do the other new piece
of equipment that i’ve got to try out is the pluto trigger now this is basically
just a trigger for your camera but a really advanced one it’s just this
little box which is full of sensors like light sensors sound sensors and it’s
also got bluetooth capability to link to your phone so you can program it to do
all sorts of really interesting and powerful things what we’re going to be
using it for today though is to trigger a water drop kit which you can also buy
from from Pluto and it all works together seamlessly to to create really
really interesting images of water droplets colliding in mid-air with all
of that said let’s take a look at the other equipment that you’re going to
need to create these images so we’ve got quite a lot of stuff
to get through here to begin with we’ve got the the Pluto trigger here which
comes with a canon adapter here so I’m going to be shooting on my old canon 5d
which I’ve got sat on a mini tripod and I’ve got a 100mm F 2.8 Tamron lens
on the front of there so we can get nice and close to these water splashes I’ve
also got the the Pluto valve which is where we’re going to be putting our
reservoir of water and then this little device down here drops it out of the end
controlled via this wire by the Pluto trigger over here we’ve got our and
brand-new Adaptalux flash lighting arms these are the prototypes and we
have the IR blaster as well and then we have a little color filter as well which
I’m going to try out on these water drops we’ve then got the Adaptalux
control pod on another mini tripod and then we’ve got our setup for how we’re
going to drop our water so I’ve got two bowls here simply so I can fill up this
top one and when it overflows it just goes down into the bottom one it’s going
to save us a little bit of tidying up and then I’ve got a retort stand over
here which are really cheap online mostly for chemistry and things like
that but it’s going to be really great with this clamp to hold our our drop
valve here so we can set all of this up and let’s see what it looks like let’s
see how it all works together I’m aware that I’ve been talking for quite a while
now so we will get on to some shooting very very soon
but this setup is really important and it’s a little bit more complicated than
the kinds of setups that I would normally use there’s a lot of moving
parts to put together I’ve got my retort stand up here with the drop valve
sat on there which is now full of water the reservoir on the top
there you just fill it up and then you can use this little test button to drop
water down and make sure that it’s right above where you want your water to be
hitting which is these bowls I’ve got my middle
bowl filled up with water right to the brim so that there’s very little of the
edges of the bowl visible in the shot you can look right across that surface of
the water and not see the backside of the bowl placement of your camera is
really important in that regard the lower down it is the taller your
water drops will seem but the higher up it is the more of the ripples you’ll see
at the surface of the water over here I’ve got my IR emitter sat on top
of the camera hotshoe and that’s going to send an IR pulse to the Adaptalux
flash lighting arm which is over here and the joy of this is that you can
place this flash wherever you want it to be and I encourage you to experiment
with the placement of your lighting as you go through all of your water
drops there’s lots of different methods to where you can place your lighting I
see a lot of people reflecting it off the background so we’ll try that and get
some silhouettes of the water drops against our white background you can
also place it down here right next to your water drop so it’s shooting the
light across and lighting it from only one side and you can also place it up
from the top and get more highlights on sort of the mushroom-shaped
explosions that these water droplets are going to create when they collide with
one another so I’ll be moving my lighting around quite a lot and finding
the most pleasing spots for our flash to go off in the final piece of this puzzle
and the thing that ties it all together is the Pluto trigger just here which is
plugged into the camera and it’s also plugged into the drop valve up here it’s
also going to be connected to my phone and that’s how we’re going to trigger
this whole system to go off when when the Pluto trigger gets the signal from
the phone we’ll just be pressing one button on my phone to let the whole
thing go off it’ll send the signal up to the drop valve which will be timed to
take the picture with the camera at the same time so
it’s sending two signals one to the drop valve one to the camera the camera is
then going to trigger at the IR trigger on the top to send the signal to the
flash lighting arm all in time with the drops colliding it’s all really rather
clever and I’m really excited to to give it a go I understand that there is quite
a lot of trial and error and patience involved so I’m going to get my phone
out and have a look at the settings on there change your settings on my
lighting arm as well via the Adaptalux app and see if we can’t get some water
drops colliding in midair so here we are in the Adaptalux app I’ve connected
this to the control pod so that we can change our lighting you can see that the
pod knows that we’ve only got one flash lighting arm plugged in and it’s set to
50% what we need to do is bring the speed of this light of all of the way so
it’s a really fast flash and it can freeze the freeze the motion of our
droplets so what I’m going to do is just select that lighting arm and then slide
this all the way up to 100% which is the fastest setting and that’s represented
on the flash lighting arm by five lights once that’s set we can then head over to
the Pluto trigger app which is also connected via bluetooth to the Pluto
trigger and you’ll see here that we have lots and lots of options on how
to trigger our camera including sound so if you make a loud sound it’ll trigger
or lightning so you can point your camera towards the sky when the
Lightning goes off your camera will trigger but the one that we are
interested in today is droplet mode so you’ll see that brings up a lot of
timings if we just hit play right now the the valve released a single droplet
the camera triggered the flash triggered and we captured an image that was pretty
white actually so what I’m going to do before I do anything else is I’m going
to focus and I’m going to remove my backdrop because I want to be able to
actually see this this droplet go off as I change all of these settings firstly
I’m taking away our backdrop so that we’ve got a clear view and it will be
quite dark in the background there which will provide a nice contrast between the
background and our water droplet the next thing we need to do is focus so I
know how water drops are landing about here and I can test it and get a good
idea of exactly where those drops are landing and then I’m going to grab a
knife just because I’m in the kitchen you can use a pen or a straw or anything
that’s quite long and has some details to focus on and you want to press that
down into your bowl in the exact position that your water drops are
falling so I’ve got that about there and then you can have a look through the
back of your camera and focus on on your knife exactly where your water drops are
going to be falling so I’m going to do that now and then we can get back to our
settings so now that we’ve got our drops in focus and we’ve got rid of our
backdrops so we can see the nice contrast between the backdrop and the
drops we can actually see where our drops are landing we can set our
settings and then we can take a closer look at our lighting and our backdrop
again as we’re standing now we are getting some drops in the shot
I just want to experiment with this flash delay one to see if we can’t get
them absolutely perfect in exactly where we want them to be I’ve turned off the
second drop here just so that we can get exactly right on that first drop now you
can see here that it’s the consistency is
pretty good I mean we’re getting a drop every single time but I’m wondering what
happens if we go a little bit later maybe 2 to 10 so the flash will trigger
a little bit later yet so we’re getting some water in the air there it’s still
not jumping up as high as I’d like so maybe 220 there we go we’ve got some
drops up in the air we’re still going back down to splashes occasionally and
this is the the name of the game is is changing these settings to get them
exactly where you want them to be so maybe 220 with a 30 drop size will do
something the drop size is going to tell you how much water is actually being
dropped out of the valve so that one looks pretty good there and the next
thing to think about is your second drop as that comes down it’s going to all you
want it to collide with the first one at the peak of its of its jump after it
hits the water so I’m going to start this one maybe 100 milliseconds
afterwards and a drop size of say 20 well 28 s fine but 20 and I’m just gonna
see what that does okay so there wasn’t a second drop in that one as far as I
can tell and that one was a little bit late
again a little bit late so you need to play around with these settings we all
settings will be completely different to mine is dependent on how high from the
ground you’re using your your dropper that distance that it takes is going to
affect this flash delay the higher up you have your dropper the more distance
it has to travel and the the longer delay you’re going to need between your
flash go the the dropper going off and your flash going off so I’m going to
keep playing around with this and see if I can’t get a droplet to collide I’ve managed to find the perfect
settings for colliding these water droplets in the right spot for my camera
and now the settings that I ended up with they’ll be completely different for
you and your setup but 220 milliseconds for the first drop with a drop size of
20 and then 120 milliseconds for the second drop with again a drop size of 20
you can tweak these as much as you like to get the perfect shot for you but I
found that this was pretty consistent and once you do find your sweet spot of
your settings it is pretty consistent every time you take a picture it will
collide and you’re getting really nice collisions one after another
after another so the patience to find the settings
pays off in the end when you can then go ahead and tweak your lighting bring your
backdrop back in change your composition with your camera and once those drops
are colliding it doesn’t really matter what you do with your camera or your
lighting they’re going to collide in the same place and you can get really
creative the next thing I’m going to do is change the liquid that I’m using to
drop it because that’s going to again change the look of our droplets I’m
going to be putting milk up in the top reservoir
I’ll keep water down in the bottom it’ll eventually get contaminated with milk
but I think that’s going to create some really interesting effects on our
droplets because the milk is actually slightly more viscous than the water
it’ll hold together a little bit better and when those sort of mushroom clouds
appear on the top of the collision it might stick together a little bit better
and create some nice smooth effects as they as the water or as the milk spreads
out so I’m going to keep moving my lighting around I’m going to put a color
filter on here as well and try that out move
backdrop in and out and see if I can’t get some really cool water drops during this process I’ve managed to get water and now milk pretty much everywhere all
over the kitchen emptying the balls out over and over again as they fill up
spilling it all over the floor make sure you have some towels around to clear up
spillages and all of those splashes they do they do jump quite far so don’t
expect to stay dry whilst you’re doing this having said that though I have had
a lot of fun I’ve been doing this for hours and hours now I’ve taken thousands
of images just to really hone in on those who’s there those collisions
most of those were duds but once you find that sweet spot it’s really really
fun and you can take image after image play around with your lighting moving it
around to the back and even shooting it down into the bowl itself because this
was a white bowl it acted as a reflector to shoot the light back up underneath
those sort of umbrellas where the where the water is colliding all the milk is
colliding the milk was a really good call by the way I’d recommend trying out
at least a little bit of milk maybe with some food coloring as well that’s what
I’ll be doing next time that I try this out the color filters that fit onto the
ends of the arms are really effective at adding a little bit of color into your
images actually really liked the contrast between the white milk and the
black backgrounds that we were using quite a lot of the time but having a
little bit of color is always nice now the flash lighting arms are going to
be available very soon if you’re watching this video in the future they
might already be available either way check out the links in the description
if you want to find out a little bit more about these flash lighting arms now
that we’ve finally got flash with the Adaptalux Studio and I’ve got some
prototypes to play with I’ve got a lot of ideas for future videos where I
try out different subjects and different techniques using the flash lighting
arms make sure to go and subscribe if you want to see those videos and if you
enjoyed this one give it a like whilst you’re down there if you have specific
requests on things that you’d like to see us try out in the future make sure
to put them down in the comments of the video for now though guys thank you very
much for watching and I’ll see you next time

Posts created 2006

6 thoughts on “Water Drop Photography Tutorial with Pluto Trigger

  1. Ben, i live the adaptalux a lot, and now the flash… really a great add, but the Pluto Trigger, is amazing to, but dont have yet.. love to be rich hahaha great video Ben from Portugal cheers Pedro.

  2. Very cool. But it is unfortunate that the Pluto trigger requires a smartphone. So those who do not have smartphones but prefer to do computing on much more robust desktop systems can't access this technology. Please don't forget the users who do not choose to use smartphones.

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