Photographing Water Drops Using An Arduino Controller

I started creating a controller using a single Arduino Nano on a breadboard. Although it was very basic it worked fairly well. It allowed me to control a solenoid valve and trigger the camera shutter. I also added basic camera control and a timelapse function (intervalometer). This part worked well. I could set the frequency and the number of shots and the Arduino did the rest.

Initially had the Arduino controlling the solenoid and then triggering the shutter after a delay. I later added an interrupter sensor and a laser beam sensor to detect the water drop and activated the shutter based on a delay after the sensor was tripped. As the controller developed more the breadboard became very messy and this started to annoy me.

I separated the functions in to two units; a drop controller and a camera controller.










Photographing Water Drops: Second Go

I had another session photographing water drops. The idea is to create two drops slightly apart. The first drop hits the water, rebounds and creates a column and then the second drop collides with the column. Sounds a lot easier than it really is.

Here are some of the results.

Water Drop Water DropWater DropWater DropWater DropWater DropWater DropWater DropWater Drop

These are from plain water. Next step is to add washing detergent to the water in the bowl and add a thickening agent like guar gum to the drops.



First Proper Try At Water Drop Photography

I wanted to try taking water drop photos and see what worked and what didn’t. Overall the results were better than I expected but not as good has I had hoped. Lighting is not good but I knew this from the beginning and concentrated on the drops and the timings. Working on the lighting can de done later once I have the other things sorted out.

I noticed that I got different results even when using the same timings. All the below had exactly the same settings.
Same settings - different results

The only difference was the time between shots. I suspect that as you wait water in the bottom nozzle moved towards the exit hole and you get a cleaner drop. Couldn’t really tell and I may be completely wrong.

Here are some of the better shots

Water DropWater DropWater Drop