We started photographing back in the analog age and have come up with some developments of our own. Because a number of good lenses have been developed over the years, even in the digital age we have remained faithful to Nikon (the D90, among others). The arrival of Nikon’s DSLR D800 with its full frame sensor opened up unimagined possibilities for us in landscape photography, specifically in terms of high-resolution quality and print size.
Time exposures are only possible with tripods and filters. We like the filter holder system developed by Lee Filters because rather than having to manipulate the camera setting by the tedious process of screwing different filters on and off, you simply use a handle on the adapter to fasten the appropriate ND filter directly on the lens after you have adjusted the motif and the sharpness. ND stands for "neutral density", i.e., filters without color distortion that only let an appropriate fraction of the light through. We usually use an ND 10 "Big Stopper" with the 100 mm system. This system also allows us to switch quickly to polar or grayscale filters. With the attachments, it is even possible to combine several filters one after another. With the cable release, replacement battery and memory card, these tools plus the cleaning equipment fit in a case the size of a toiletries bag (obviously not including the tripod and the camera!).
After being inspired to take up high speed photography, we came up with the idea of photographing water drops in motion and the shapes that they create, which only exist for fractions of a second. Next came the technical planning.
Among other things, we purchased a control device with a light barrier from the USA and began experimenting with the drop speed, drop size, viscosity of the drop liquid (thickened with guar gum) and the "pool" (e.g., liquid dishwasher detergent). The background color of the motifs is created by filter films positioned on the flash soft box. The illumination of the photo is generated by the flash. Since the shutter speed is in the millisecond range, which is beyond that of the standard commercially available DSLR Nikon D90 that we use, the shutter remains open in "bulb mode" in the dark room. We programmed the timing of the falling drop and the triggering of the flashes into the aforementioned control device. A second flash from the side with a snoot (for controlling the direction and radius of the light beam) conveys a sparkle to the drops, in the manner of a spotlight.
Through the change in the air pressure in the drop vessel and the change in the viscosity of the liquid in the pool with each drop striking it, the resulting sculptures change each time and can never be reproduced.