Splashing Rain Drops

What do you do on a boring rainy day onboard a ship? Yes, you try to catch some falling water drops! This is what I did on a vacation cruise this summer. It was a gray day, rain came down all the time and there was nothing to see around or to do at all. At the outer deck the water on the ground has built some puddles. From the ceiling above large drops were falling down into them. Since the puddles were not deep, the falling drops splashed around when hitting the ground taking some water from the puddle with it and building some nice crown figures.

I was tied to catching these splashing drops for quite a while. First I went down to my knees and took photos at this position. Was nice but then I thought a more spectacular view would be to look flatly above the ground. So I layed my camera on the ground turned the display to me and switchted to Live View mode. The result was indeed awesome. I took some photos with flash activated but I more liked the ones with no flash. The most difficult thing was to get the splashes into focus. They were hitting the ground here and there and you could not determine a fixed point to set the focus. So I had to trust my luck to get even some drops nicely sharp.

I have made the two photos shown here with the following camera settings: My EOS 600D was equipped with my EF-S 18-55mm standard zoom kit lens. Focal length was at full 55mm. The camrea was set into P mode with flash turned of. ISO was at 400 due to the gray weather conditions. The camera had calculated an aperture of f/8 and a shutter speed of 1/200 sec. The relatively slow shutter speed turns the splashing water into thin threads which looks great and points out its motion. Aperture value of f/8 is good for getting the splash quite sharp but on the other hand the background is not blurred enough and distracts the attention from the splash. I have chosen the continous capture mode, directed the camera to a point where the drops were hitting the ground, tried to get the focus correct and then pressed the release button for several seconds and took about 10 to 20 photos. At least two or three of them showed some splashing drops. But, as I told, many of them were out of focus. These two photos shown here were the best of a large series.

It was much fun chasing the water drops, even if the result was not very effective. I'm sure I will do this again in my kitchen sometimes. There I have a better equipment and studio like conditions which hopefully brings out better results.