Fun with Collisions πŸ˜€ : High speed macro photography of colliding water drops

in Photography Lovers β€’ last year

Creative ways to spread "Save water" messages? Funny taglines and lovely lovely photos of water drops... My way of spreading the message

I have tried capturing water in various forms - flowing, due drops, drops falling in water etc..

However, I am fascinated by images showing beautiful shapes, umbrellas, canopies and crowns formed by colliding water drops .. So, I HAD to try my hand at it..

Wild Spirit (1).png
Challenge of capturing water drop collisions!

Well - it is not really possible to do this out in the nature. If I want to capture a raindrop hitting a puddle - the task is not so daunting but if I want to capture a second raindrop hitting the plume caused by first raindrop (known to geeks as 'Worthigton jet'), then it is a Herculean task. I have to take thousands of shots and at the same time be extremely lucky! Or - I need to have freezing time abilities like the 'Matrix!

Luckily, there is a tool in any photographer's kit that allows us to freeze time (almost!) and capture action happening in micro seconds. The FLASH or Speed light - a correctly timed flash on an otherwise dark action scene helps to freeze a moment in time in that action.

I, therefore, built a rig, using Arduino (teaching myself everything about circuits and Arduino from the web) and many Youtube videos. The rig has a solenoid valve which allows me a release 2 droplets in quick succession such that the second droplet lands on the plume formed by first droplet hitting water in a bowl and forms a nice crown or umbrella!

Here is my rig..

WhatsApp Image 2022-09-02 at 11.26.51 AM.jpeg
Water bottle with solenoid valve hot glued in the bottom hole, flash light, camera, bowl and a cardboard box for background

and here is the Arduino-nano and the (messy) circuitry

WhatsApp Image 2022-09-02 at 11.27.01 AM.jpeg
My DIY TEMP circuit with Arduino + breadboard for solenoid & flash control

It took me couple of days to design, source parts and build.. Was it all worth it?

Well - you let me know after you see the following sequence of images...

Freeze 1: At 280 milliseconds from release of first drop - Second drop just about the plume formed by first drop

(source -unknown)

Freeze 2: 2 milliseconds later - Second drop touching the plume..

(source -unknown)

Looks like the Earth sitting on a crystal mountain doesn't it?

Freeze 3: 4 milliseconds later - The second drop sinks in the plume and starts causing a nice umbrella

(source -unknown)

Freeze 4: 6 milliseconds later - A flower of water?

(source -unknown)

Freeze 5: 9 milliseconds later The final click - the lovely umbrella...

(source -unknown)

I used normal blue ink to color the water drops by adding it to the water in the bottle and used a yellow backdrop to enhance contrast.

I sure had lot of fun capturing these images because I had to teach myself so many things in the process...

Do you think they turned out well? Was all the effort worth it? Have you tried something like this? I look forward to suggestions and shared experiences from our expert community members.

Do comment freely and let me know.

PS: A big Thank you to @castleberry for inspiring me about linking images and quotes. I suddenly remembered his post where he linked images to thought provoking quotes.

Please comment freely and let me know your opinion. I will try to bring many different types of wildlife photos/macro/Astro posts to the community. Feedback and comments are welcome,. I am still learning many techniques and always value feedback from experts in this community.

Have a nice day everyone. Cheers!

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It looks lot fun πŸ˜…πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ· I hope you get lot cool photos πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ€—πŸ·

Thank you so much. Yes it is a bit of an effort but was fun and produces lovely artistic pics

Next time try put bug in there when it fall in water :))))

great photos, I really like the macros.
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Thank you so much for your kind appreciation. I will keep attempting to get more different and lovely photos

Truly amazing pictures 🀩. How creative and it is reflected in these pictures that you put a lot of efforts

@abrarhussain Thank you so much



It is just the beginning of my day but, this is the coolest thing I've seen so far. They are incredible and worth every work you've put in. You say it is an umbrella which it is, but for me you have created the perfect mushroom.

The entire series are amazing starting from the first point of collision where it looked like a globe sitting on crystal mountain, as it proceeds it looks like the second drop was going to dive through the plume but they end up spreading out to produce the lovely umbrella.
The yellow background and blue tinted water were doing the damn thing. I'm probably rambling at this point but this is a chain of pure art and it should be on walls for people to decorate their homes with. Maybe you can try it again with different water and background colour.

Great job. I love them all.πŸ˜πŸ’›β€οΈ

Thank you for such a detailed comment. Thanks for all the kind words of appreciation

You are much welcome.

Excellent post! Great job on the rig and getting all these cool shots with it. Very impressive my friend.

Thank you. As usual you understand the effort that goes into the images. Your words encourage me to keep exploring new things and bring even more beautiful pictures. Thanks my friend. Also - as I have mentioned in the post, it was your post that inspired me to link quotes and images. Learning from experts πŸ˜€

Looks beautiful and what an amazing set up! The hard work was all worth it! Love the sharpness and the choice of background color as well :D

@hiddenblade Thank you so much for appreciating the work. You have a keen sense of art, as I can see from your blogs so it is an honor for me if you say you liked my pictures. Thank you so much for following me. Hope to stay in touch

Thank you! Aww, an honor you see me as that as well. It's nice to meet you and looking forward for your creative set up and photography. It was really impressive!! :D

Holy hecking mackerels! This is AMAZING! I would never have the brain to build such a rig, but the results are clearly very worth it! It looks like you had a lot of fun with taking these. The umbrella is probably my favourite one, along with freeze 2. Absolutely gorgeous!

@pixelhuntersam Lol. What a way to swear - holy hecking mackerels! Sounds British - Queen's English. I could be wrong. Anyway -
Yes I had a lot of fun. Nerdy way of fun I guess but I did enjoy it. Photography is fun by itself but even more satisfying was the fact that something I built with my own design produced results. πŸ˜€
Thanks for your kind and encouraging words.

@vm2904 I don't know where that came from, it was the first thing that popped into my head when I saw your amazing shots! I am from South Africa, my genetics being a proper European mongrel, haha. But technically we do use British English here, so you aren't wrong.

Nothing wrong with nerdy fun!

Great ✌✌✌✌


amazing that those forms and processes are part of reality but not our reality until someone uses an Arduino board and makes actual photos of this stuff happening.

@lauch3d Very true. It takes efforts to note and record reality sometimes πŸ˜€

Thanks for your valuable comment

I admire your efforts building this rig just to capture the water drops. I believe it is worth it though, the photos you took show us what it is really happening when a water drop falls.
It is a nerdy art. Photography at another level. 😊

Btw, that's an Uno not a Nano.


@thecuriousfool Oops yes - I have an Arduino Uno and not a Nano. Dont know why I typed Nano. Thanks for pointing out. yes - it is a nerdy arts. I believe we are all nerds at differing levels. It does take a nerd to recognize a Uno from a pic doesn't it - LOL πŸ˜ƒ
Thanks for your valuable comment and input

It must be just be the auto-complete feature of your fingers while typing.
Happens to me sometimes. 😁


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I'm obsses with macro, beautiful work

This is so creative!! I enjoyed a lot your pictures!!

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These photos immortalize movements and shapes that I had never seen before. Congratulations for the photos and for this great post

ini yang luar bisa fotonya,saya sangat menyukai

Very impressive 😎


This is really great photography

simply amazing, I admire your creativity πŸ‘Œ.

@kike.adventure Thanks for your kind words of appreciation.

Wow you truly are the fountain of inspiration and motivation!

I love the fact that you not only think outside the box, but build outside the box too!

And the magic that you have created there, will empower so many others to continue on creating more magic and beauty in the world (and hopefully save their water too.)

(personally I use buckets in my shower and tubs in my sinks to collect my water simply because I cannot justify flushing perfectly good drinking water down the toilet and I have been doing that for many years now.)

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