Saturday, November 01, 2008

You Do Not Need Superpowers to Freeze Water

This would mark my second attempt to freeze water in motion. Without any superpowers, or freezing mechanism/agents, I think I have successfully frozen water, and boy, they do look very, very different from what they appear to be before our naked eyes running in such fluid and flowing movements. Taking the time factor out of the equation, using the camera in hand to slow down the time into 1/4000s fragment (that is the LIMIT of my camera, could not go beyond that.... would be cool if I could push it to 1/8000s) the perspective shifted into something really much more dramatic.

The previous attempt was performed with only the pancake lens (25mm F2.8) but this time, I returned with a much more wicked lens, my tele (40-150mm F3.5-4.5). To my advantage, I can now get my angle incredibly closer to the water without risking the waters being splashed onto the front element of my lens.

Note: The water being crowded together, very messy I think. That aside, I actually like the randomness and the feeling of uncertainty they invoke. Life is like that after all.

Most of the compositions were done by luck, so I actually snapped quite a handful of pictures to choose from. Not much cropping was done, what you see here was what I have captured in the full frame. The first few attempts came out rather messy as can be observed from the pictures above. Hey, the waters were moving in FLUID motion, and I had not the slightest clue of any tool to predict how and when the beads of water would turn out in the picture I capture with a 1/4000s shutter speed. I did try my best in the subsequent attempts to isolate the beads of water from the splashes, and shooting against brighter background, eg the sky. I experimented with both backgrounds, dark, and bright, and I could not say which one worked out better since they both provided different set of results. Heck, you will see in my final few shots here I even mixed bright and dark background together. Yes, I admit I tried every single thing I could think of at the moment.

Note: Here are the less cluttered and much cleaner shots. You can see the individual beads separately, and they appear very outstanding from the bright background. With our naked eyes, we can see the water moving in one long streak, but once frozen, we can see that they move in separate beads. I guess the same would happen when you try to freeze running water from the tap !!

Freezing the water by individual beads was not an easy task if you ask me. But once I have managed to capture what I wanted, the satisfactory feeling was indescribable. Alright pardon my self-indulgence here, but the first time of everything is always magical, and with the potentials of a DSLR, I am anticipating a heck lot more of first times to come. I tried to move my lens closer to magnify the beads of water further, but unfortunately what you see in my pictures were the closest I could get to. I need a tele-macro to get closer, but that shall have to wait for quite some time. Can't afford any upgrades now, unless the lens fall off from the sky.

Note: I was shooting against the sky, with high shutter speed, there is little risk of overexposing your background. Love the pale blue tone, I think they complement the water beads well.

So what do you guys think of the pictures? Honestly I do not think they are superbly that stunning or anything out of the ordinary, and I believe there are plenty of rooms for improvements in terms of technical control and compositions. Nevertheless, it is not an everyday opportunity to view the waters flying in the air being frozen in such manner. It seems as if the water beads were formless solid crystals randomly being thrown into the air, and they actually seem rock hard !! Or maybe chunks of ice rocks/pebbles being sprayed around. I do not know how you guys see it, but that was how I view it. We can never see what happened in slow motion, our eyes cannot register such rapid motion, our brain is not fast enough to process it, and we do not have the ability yet to slow down time, or freeze it (hmmm... anyone miss Piper from Charmed?), so this is the best that we can do at the time being.

I would definitely find opportunities to toy around with super speed photography in the future. Until then, I shall now marvel at the beauty of frozen waters without being turned into ice.


  1. hey where are the girls??


  2. hey marcus,
    what girls? im sweet and innocent !!

  3. oh please! don't hog all the amber chia pics to yourself.


  4. hey marcus,
    those were the only good pics of here. you should have seen the crowd that day, it was horrendous !!! It was a miracle i could pull those shots out of so many heads and cameras and flash units in front of me LOL

  5. poor marcus :(

    now now, dun be sad.. here are some lovely girl pics :)

    come on robin.. show us some babes like this guy.. Kazuhisa Nishikawa

    i wish i was in japan, sob! ;(

  6. hey brandon,
    Hooii !!! I thought ure supposed to be on my side !!

  7. Nice try! Next challenge: A water drop onto a calm pool of water which give ripples on the surface :P

  8. hey hao,
    ahahaha thanks. but i define my own phototaking, in my previous entry, i mentioned about shooting things differently, so I am not going to copy the crowd !!

  9. It's not copying, it's just a challenge to your photography skill. Who knows from there you can find a different perspective of catching, thus making it unique or achieving the phototaking way you define, right?

  10. LOL!.. those are nice links brandon.. but i dont understand japanese ah.. >.< can't read them..

  11. hey hao,
    ahahaha, in the end still copying, thus defeating the purpose right from the beginning.
    being original is not an easy thing these days, but yeah, no harm trying to be different.

    hey allen,
    ahahah.. who says anything about reading LOL

  12. allen.. no need to read.. jz appreciate d pics :D

    robin.. i always am on ur side. if ur blog can be like this japanese dude, it'll be freakin awesome! u've got the camera, now we just need to find some bikini babes, lol :p

  13. hey brandon,
    -___- !!!

    This blog is MORE than just girls ahahahaha....

    and i am sweet and innocent !!

  14. bro... onli girls can be considered sweet and innocent.. a guy like u, cannot lar.. :p

    mmm if ur blog is more than just gals, maybe we can joint venture and set up a separate bikini blog then... i'm sure it'll be very successful :p

  15. hey brandon,
    that is a fantastic idea, but unfortunately bro, where on earth can I find bikini models in this God forsaken land????
    Sometimes I wish I am still in Perth ahahaha...
    Its summer... gosh....
    Marcus !!! Lets go Cottesloe this coming weekend !!!

  16. ok let's go robin! *fills bag with sunblock and sunnies and binos to stare at girls*


  17. hey marcus,
    yeah !!! how i wish malaysia has 4 seasons ahaahah...
    wait, you cant even find a beach anywhere near where I am at currently. Sadness....