How It Was Done (Part One)

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Following up on yesterday’s post, here are the techniques used for the first two photographs that I featured:

Photo #1:

The photographer used excellent camera and lighting technique in order to capture this image of a drop hitting a pool of water. According to the description accompanying spettacolopuro’s photo, the photographer used a Canon 40D with a macro lens and detached flash. I imagine, in order to capture such crisp and colorful images (there is a whole series of shots of water drops in various stages of impact), the camera was set up on a tripod close to and slightly above the body of water, with a remote shutter release set for high speed continuous shooting (the Canon 40D captures 6.5 frames per second). Then, using manual focus, insert a ruler or pencil or other object within the shot along the line the falling water will take. Focus on that object, then remove it from the scene.

With the camera focus thus prepared, drops of water were released from above using an eye dropper or straw, within the camera’s field of view. The body of water below was contained within some sort of colorful bowl or basin. The high speed continuous shooting would capture multiple images of the drop of water as it descended and impacted upon the surface, and the use of the remote shutter release would ensure a sharp photograph.

Here is a great tutorial and information source from Strobist on how to photograph water drops.

Photo #2:

Mrs. Flinger used this tutorial by Brilliant Days – a fun and simple Photoshop technique that can be applied to any photograph for an infinite variety of results. I’m going to recreate it here with one of my own photos.

This is what I started with – a pic of a flower from the Rose Test Gardens in Portland, Oregon.


After opening it in Photoshop, I used the selection tool and made a square selection within the image by choosing the selection tool and clicking on the Select/Fixed Aspect Ratio menu. I set both the width and the height to “1″.

Then, with my square selection active, I clicked on Filter/Distort and chose Polar Coordinates. Then I clicked on the “Polar to Rectangular” button:


Next, I went to the Edit/Transform/Rotate menu and chose “Rotate 180*”. Then I went back to the Filter/Distort menu and chose Polar Coordinates again. This time instead of choosing the second radio button, I chose the first, “Rectangular to Polar”. I clicked on okay, and voila!


I cropped the selection (no need to flatten), and saved it under a new file name.

I hope you try out both of these techniques, and tell us about your experiences in the comments.

Have a great weekend everyone! I’ll post Part 2 of “How It Was Done” on Monday.

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