Apple splash

Here is the apple from my last posting again. When I was finished with the apple shooting last time I had the idea of putting the fruit under a water stream and let the water splash out. That was really fun. All the water around in my kitchen. I had to take care not to flood my entire kitchen! And the resulting photos are quite good. I have done some mistakes with the background, but the apple and the water are very well captured.

The setup: I wanted to take photos of the apple and the water from the side, means only litte above the top level of the apple. That's why I couldn't put the fruit into the sink, but had to place it somehow higher. I used a glass rack board, layed it on the sink and placed the apple on top. Perfect. Opening the water tap a bit lets out a constant small stream of water. I placed the apple at a position where the water does not hit it directly in the center. So the water enters slightly from the side and jumps out on the opposite side. Together with the stalk the leaving water builds up a curtain like structure. Looks fantastic. Having all that adjusted I mounted my EOS 500D on my tripod, connected it to my laptop computer for remote control and shake protection. The lens was again my EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro. The flash I've placed at the side and as I learned in the previous shooting, a mirror is a perfect substitude to the missing second flash light. As the background in the first shots I used the white tiles on the wall. Later on I placed a black board in the back. After moving the camera a little higher to get some photos from slighty above the apple, I had the problem that the flash reflects heavily in the metallic surface of sink. To eliminate this I've placed some black paper on the reflecting parts. But here I was not careful enough. There were still white patches between the black paper and the board in the back. These white spots are cleary visible in the photo. Unfortunately I recognized this after I had finished the shooting. Next time I have to be more careful.

The settings: As usual with this kind of photo shootings I did all the settings manually. I turned the focus to manual and disabled image stabilizing. I set the camera to completely manual mode and chose aperture and shutter speed myself. Even the flash intensity was set manually. First I used a relatively small aperture to get only the water beam and the stalk in focus. Later I noticed some small water streams squirming out at the side of the apple. These were completely out of focus and thus unnoticeable. So I increased the aperture to get them into focus, too. Shutter speed was not relevant. I used the highest possible value, which was with my flash a 1/200 sec. Flash intensity varied between 1/64 and 1/8 depending on the aperture I used.

The first photo is a closeup of the water beam and the stalk and the water curtain. Flash light came only from the left. I like the crystal clear water both in the beam from the tap and in the water curting building at the stalk. The blue spots are from a blue bottle standing in the near. The water looks like as it is frozen.
This photo was taken with an aperture of f/5.6 and a shutter speed of 1/200 sec.

In this second photo I've placed the camera a little more back, so you can see more of the apple and the flying water. I used the black background to brighten up the colors a bit. Flash comes from the right this time with a mirror on the left to direct light to both sides of the apple. I like the little water drop on top of the stalk. What I'm also impressed about is the relflection of the red apple surface in the water. Looks like traces and drops of blood. Amazing. Those little sparks in the water are beautiful. This time I increased the aperture value to f/11 to bring the little squirming water stream at the front more into focus. This photo is my favorite one.

The last photo shows even more of the apple and the flying drops. But also you can see more of my bad mistakes with the background. I tried to remove them in post processing but due to the water drops I was not very successful with that. So I decided to leave it as it is and declare it as a lesson learned. But the image has also some nice aspects. The "blood trace" from the reflection of the red apple skin in the water is great this time. The water jumps out in two directions. The "curtain" goes slightly into the back and there is this freaky structure come to the front. The water beam is so straight and clear, it looks like made of glass with some tiny air bubbles in it. Due to the high aperture of f/11 again the whole scene is quite in focus.