Articles, Blog

How to Do Water Drop Photography | Testing the MIOPS Splash Kit

November 10, 2019

Hi I’m Adam and welcome to first man
photography today we are going to be doing some very interesting photography
something you could easily try at home especially during this period of very
wet weather that we’re having here in the UK if you don’t want to get out and
do landscape photography outdoors then getting into a bit of macro photography
a bit of water drop photography in your home in the dry where it’s comfortable
warm then this is the video for you we’re going to specifically today be
testing out the miops water kits or what a splash kit whatever they want to call
it I’ve generally used the splash up to kit which is what I’ve created all my
water drops with miops has really been picking up a bit of attention a lot of
people have asked me about it so I’ve gone ahead and bought the kit to test it
out myself and just see how it does basically so what we’ll do is we’ll get
set up I’ll show you a few bits and pieces of how we do water drop
photography we’ll put that miops system to the test to produce some interesting
images hopefully then do a little bit of post-processing with a few really nice
tips for your post-processing in there as well and then we’ll hopefully be able
to create a really nice final print at the end of it so without further ado
let’s get set up and then do some water off photography right let’s go Right i am all set up with the miops splash
kits on here it does come with this sort of clump that you can attach to a tripod
which is quite handy but I’ve got it set up attached to this clump standard with
what Ostroff photography it is important obviously to have a
camera and a macro lens is what is going to allow you to get in close enough to
fill your frame with those water drops you can really use a kit lens you might
have to try get your camera a bit closer and then crop in in post-production but
a macro lens is really gonna help it’s pretty much vital then to use a flash
for this I’ve got this relatively cheap flash trigger attached to the top of my
camera and then some wireless triggers on on the flashes themselves I’ve got a
two flash set up here one here which is going to light up the water drop and
then another one just the front here which is lighting up the background
the trick with water drop photography though when it comes to your flashes is
is actually the flash that freezes the action so with your camera the settings
are very straightforward you want to have your camera set to the flash sync
speed of the camera in my case with this Canon it’s one two hundredth of a second
I then play generally around f11 and f-16 for the settings you want to be in
manual mode manual focus as well which we’ll talk about in a second with your
speed lights you want to have them in manual mode as well and they want to be
at a low power the reason for that is the low power produces a much faster
flash remember it’s that flash that’s freezing the action I’ve got this one at
the front set at 160 fourth power and background once sets and 1/128 a fairly
low powered self up to my ISO to 640 and that’s giving me a nice bright clear
image so when it comes to focus you want to start getting your drop
going which I have done already here with the my ops we’re going to pop it
into AV mode for a second and get our pencil and fired the water drop it off
like that and then just place the pencil into the water where the drop is hitting
the surface like that and then we go to our camera and we want to manual focus
on to that pencil just high Matt that’s looking pretty good
and we’re pretty much ready to shoot I’m going to play around with a few things
today we’re going to start off though with plain water because I’ve literally
never used this miops before and I have heard there are a few people out there
that say you can’t use anything thicker than water now adding xanthan gum to
your water drop mixture is pretty much vital to change the consistency of the
water to allow you to get those beautiful crown effects so if I can’t do
that with this system this system is definitely not going to be for me so
I’ve got it set up just with water in this in this tube at the moment I then
have a mixture of just plain water and xanthan gum mixture in the bottom so
that’s still gonna be a little bit thicker which might help me out
hopefully very plain setup to start with call us water colors bath and then a
blue background and that’s just going to give me chance to figure out how to use
the my op system so I’ve got it connected to the camera with the wire
here which sort of follows leads around into the my ops the the Bluetooth
connects to the my ups with my phone so then when I press the button the my ops
system should fire the camera off and the camera then sets the flashes off
like this they’re a world that was a big one it’s then just the case of playing
around with the my ops system on your phone that’s exactly the same as any
other system you’re essentially if you change the size of the first drop and
the size of the first drop will affect how tall your water drop is the second
one you then put a delay on so that comes out a moment later and you want it
to the first stop to hit the water bounce back up just as the second one is
coming down and it creates that collision so I’m just gonna play around
for a minute with this initial setup to get an idea
of how this works bike the other systems I’ve used before it is very similar in
terms of you’ve got to play around until you find what works for you and it’s
it’s different every time depending on the consistency of the wall to the
height that you’ve got the dropper above the bat so gonna play around with that
for a bit and see what happens okay there we go the red liquid with the
xanthan gum in it is now primed and it is quite thick so it’ll be interesting
to see what happens it’s still just plain water that will start to get red
as those drops come through but let’s just go with it let’s see what happens
so let’s just have a little go I definitely saw a collision on that one
didn’t capture it though so I might have to adjust the delay once you’ve got
xanthan gum in a solution as well bubbles start to form and they really
spoil the image I think so it was a good idea between each shot to just clear the
bubbles away from the surface so let’s just go with a few more and some see in
the collision so I map captured a really nice one there so we look about again
yeah nice stem nice collision so just keep fire in another one there yes I’m
not quite getting the height that I want so I’m going to start playing around to
introduce or make the first drop a little bit bigger which will make the
water splash up a bit more getting it to fill my frame now I do like the miops drop system but
I do have a couple of reservations that I don’t think you have with this part –
the main one I think is the fact that this nozzle is plastic it doesn’t have
the sharp edge of the metal nozzle on a splash art – and because of that I feel
like I’m losing accuracy I get a set where I can see a water drop happening
and then if something different happens every single time now that does happen
on the splash art – as well but the consistency of the drops is is not as
good with this and that’s my big bug bear really having said that I am still
getting some collisions so it is still working and it is cheaper than the
splash car – as well so and I quite like the setup with the tube it’s quite easy
to sort of set up and use and it does work relatively well with the app but
the app is my other bug bear because although it works well the system does
what really well it was easy to set up you can have three or four drops as well
which can just increase your levels of creativity however not having that
physical unit to control the walls drops which I have on the splash art – just I
feel like I’m losing a bit of that ability to react instinctively almost so
I’ve got to go into the app into the menu change the drop size I change the
delay whereas on this brush actually I can just use the knobs without looking
at it you know I feel I’m losing a bit of speed but that’s probably something
that not most people are gonna be bothered with I don’t know and but I am
still getting some results it’s just taking a little bit longer this is
obviously my first go with this system as well so I think it will improve as I
become more familiar with it I’m enjoying usually though it’s just the
same as any time you do was drop photography can be frustrating but I do
feel like that plastic nozzle is holding me back if we could have a metal one I
think I’d be really happy with it it’s a thing that would increase the level of
consistency of the drops which is what you need to then make the adjustments
so I’m just gonna keep having to play until I get a shot now I’m happy with
and then we’ll head back up to the office to post process and image so
after a water drop photography shoot one of my favorite things is getting them
back on the big screen because it’s at that point that you first get to feel
the impact of what you have created now on this occasion using the miles I just
have not had the consistency that I’m used to
now all the time with water drop photography I’m probably getting about
10% of my images this are somewhat usable there is you shoot a lot of
frames and don’t get very much back in return just because of the nature of the
water and how it works and stuff but today we can look down the screen here
and there really isn’t all that many shots that are usable so I’m just gonna
flag the ones that I feel are somewhat usable it’s just have a very brief look
at them that one yeah it’s pretty nice not quite in focus maybe yeah I mean
that’s okay but you can see how when you don’t have the solution in the other the
xanthan gum in there you get these drops spraying off all over the place I think
you lose a bit of the detail and the overall symmetry and smoothness to it
with that one I do like that one that’s quite an interesting one yeah that’s
quite nice this one is really interesting but I don’t like it going
off the top of the screen that one’s okay I quite like that one is too close
to the top of the frame that one’s quite interesting actually
it’s nice colors in that one I’ve edited that a little bit but look at that
bubble just for me that absolutely ruins it it just pulls too much attention away
from where I want your attention to be which is on the wall to drop personally
that’s a deal breaker for me I quite like that one but it’s not quite right
this one I think is probably the winner so let’s bring that up that’s that’s
looking pretty good it’s a nice shape it’s an interesting shape it’s just not
quite tall enough though that’s the thing
I must prefer it when it fills the frame and with the macro lens you can do that
if you can get that drop to go up high enough but we’re just gonna crop it on
this occasion because it’s still gonna work quite well
and this would be similar if you are using a kit lens or a 24 to 17 melons so
let’s just bring up the crop tool very quickly and just get it down to
something that’s gonna fill the frame something like that and that immediately
looks really really nice in terms of composition that’s the sort of shot I
want I’m just gonna drag it up from the bottom because you can see the edge of
the dish just a touch so I’m gonna crop some of that out as well and that still
looks really nice nice and clean nice shape all around that’s the kind of
image that I love when it comes to water drop photography all right let’s go
through it very quickly and make some very quick adjustments now a top tip
when you’re editing any image if particularly if you’re in the rain or
you have a bit of water around and you’re getting little spots on your lens
they’re very easy to take out with the spot removal tool now you just hit the
spot removal tool up here or you can hit Q on your keyboard as a shortcut and
sometimes they can be quite difficult to see but if we’re going for a little bit
of perfection in our post-processing all you need to do is take the da’s
slider and just pull it to 100% and that what that does is allowing you to see
the spots a lot easier so you like this one up here now we can just really
easily and really quickly get rid of all of them I’m not might not get them all
during this little bit couple of drops there and yeah that doesn’t look too bad
one or two more just like that and there we go right now all you need to do is
just reset the D haze and there we go nice clean image for you so now I’m just
gonna make a few changes contrast boost always works really really well and then
we can just add a touch of clarity in as well and then drag the highlights down
just a touch shadows up a little bit just to raise these black areas here I’m
just going to drag the white balance down a little bit here you’ve got so
much control over your color with wastrel photography I’m gonna give it a
little vibrance boost a little saturation boost as well hit hue and I
just want to change that blue color a little bit more not that way but I want
to make it a little bit darker like that then go to luminance
on the blue and just bring the brightness of that blue down a touch and
that now looks really really good just briefly on the image I would prefer it
if this edge of this water drop was a little bit smoother see these little
notches here that’s because the the consistency of the actual liquid was not
as thick as I would have liked but as I was putting thicker and thicker liquid
into the miops it was just it couldn’t handle it and I think it’s because of
that plastic nozzle if you imagine the edge of a cup or a pan if you pour it
out in the edge is really curved and smooth you end up getting drips all over
the place if you’ve got a sharp bit of metal or something like that it comes
out it’s much easier to pour and that’s I think that’s the same with this water
dropper for the splash art see with this metal sharp metal nozzle it seems to
just work better with the thicker liquids but I can’t complain it’s a nice
image that’s what I’m now going to print so I’ll just get that set up for a print
every time I print my water drops I will just add in a third of a stop or
something of exposure to compensate for the loss of backlight on the screen and
that usually works out as a really nice print so I’m gonna go ahead and print
that and we’ll take a look at that in a second here we go the print is done and I think
that looks really and rather nice it’s always just so nice to see your images
printed out and particularly water drop photography because like I said earlier
it’s just like it’s the sort of thing that hardly anyone has seen before
overall impressions of the miops splash kits is this it’s got some pros and some
cons the pros are that it’s a really quite straightforward bit kit to use and
it’s also one of the cheapest on and now probably the most well no splash kits on
the market and you can produce some really nice images with it the app also
I think just a very simple redesign to have all those controls just on a dial
on a single screen so I can make fine adjustments really quickly would make a
huge world of difference so yeah over armed I do enjoy the kit but I just like
to see a couple little tweaks to it to really make it as good as anything else
on the market so that’s my overall impression of it I will put a link to it
down below along with the kit that I normally use to give you an opportunity
to compare those two things if you’re considering making the purchase if you
are going to buy the miops kit I would recommend you buy it from Amazon because
I bought it directly from my ops it was slightly more expensive particularly for
the cables I also ended up having to pay import tax and that cost me about
another 30 pounds or something so and then also make sure you check out the
raw room subscription to really get into that water drop photography masterclass
it’s very different to anything I’ve put on YouTube is – about two and a half
hours of in-depth content there’s about nine chapters covering everything from
how to make the solution and how to shoot the shoot it with a very basic set
of where you don’t need any splash kids and then also using the splash art –
kids where we get right into it in detail I think you will love it so if
you head to the link down below check out the raw rim for $5.99 a month you
can subscribe you can cancel at any time you have a full water drop photography
to class landscape photography masterclass and loads of other tutorials
that I’m putting up all the time so please do check it out if you want to
know more also check out my other wall strop videos if you’ve never seen them
before and I’ll see you on another video very very soon I’ve got another one
coming out on Tuesday actually which I’m excited about this week and extra video
for you so hope to see you then I’m Adam this is first man photography out


  • Reply Rickard Sandberg November 10, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    Thank you for all your vids! 🙂

  • Reply Poof November 10, 2019 at 6:19 pm

    Thank you

  • Reply Neil Partridge November 10, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    I respect people's wish to take drop photos, but I see them as mechanical, contrived and samey. On the other hand your landscape pictures are freeform, spiritual, emotional, unplanned. Maybe I just like to see you outside with rocks, plants, animals and weather.

    Anyway. You make me want to take pictures. Thank you for that.

  • Reply scotty4418 November 10, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    Been looking into the MIOPS dongle to use for timelapse photography. Good to hear your thoughts on the splash kit and how it compared to your other kit. Final image looked great too Adam 👍

  • Reply 234cheech November 10, 2019 at 6:35 pm

    cool sys for that sort of photography

  • Reply Rich Halvorsen November 10, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    Thanks Adam for this, I bought this setup early on after seeing your early water drop videos. It's a great comparison and I agree having to tap back through the app for every tweak can become maddening!

  • Reply Steve Bearman November 10, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    Very cool! I'm wondering if the investment for such a kit is worthy for me, as I am sure it won't be used very often…how many water drop images to justify such a kit (lol)

  • Reply Mark Deguara November 10, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    Thanks Adam nice presentation. Keep it up 👌👍

  • Reply Matt Walker November 10, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    Thank you for all of your videos. I am learning so much from them!
    If possible, I would like to see how the MIOPS splash trigger copes with the water/xantham gum over a good amount of time (example a few months/years) and if it gets clogged up.
    Thank you.

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