Photography is an art that inculcates by exploring and learning. Hundreds of clicks are taken to capture a perfect shot and that satisfaction on the face of the photographer is covered in a blink of the eye. In various types of photography, water drop photography seems to be something very simple but it is actually a herculean task. It demands rigorous practice in terms of timing and perfection, in order to take an accurate snap. To be very precise, it includes dropping liquid into a container that contains more liquid and then taking a shot at the point when the droplet hits the bowl of liquid.
Well, it sounds so soft and easy, but the practical version is beyond your imagination. Even the experienced photographers cannot reach the accuracy level. It is, although, possible to manage a few good results by setting the camera up on a tripod with a fast shutter speed and connect it to a remote control. This would control both the drops and the camera with a bit more accuracy. This could be a nice attempt for amateurs but a good photographer would not be satisfied with the results
WATER DROP PHOTOGRAPHY WITH THE RASPBERRY PI
Now the question arises, how to get a perfect snap with almost guaranteed great results each time? Well, I am here to ease your work. With little technical know how you can build a Water Drop kit by using a Raspberry Pi as a controller for a solenoid valve and camera trigger. This valve enables you to control the release of the water drop and creates a perfect scenario for the photo.
Using the Raspberry PI’s GPIO connected to both the camera and a solenoid valve, it is possible to start the water droplets and trigger the camera.
how to build a Water Drop kit using a Raspberry Pi
All you need is a solenoid valve and two GPIO pins. A solenoid valve is an electromechanically operated valve where the valve is controlled by an electric current through a solenoid. Solenoids are known for offering fast and safe switching, high reliability, long service life, good medium compatibility of the materials used, low control power and compact design. It is available on various online websites at reasonable rates.
Further, we need two GPIO pins, one is for driving the solenoid valve, and the other is for turning on the shutter of the camera. To interface physical devices like buttons and LEDs with the Linux processor, the GPIO pins on a Raspberry Pi could be an excellent way. Further, if you know how to develop a Python, there is a library called RPi. GPIO which handles interfacing with the pins.
Pins 17 and 18 can be used as the solenoid is 12V and a battery pack which takes 8 AA batteries that would give about 11 volts. Make sure that the battery packs works fine, and it’s more portable than needing an AC power supply.
Now, you need to build a couple of simple circuits, one for the solenoid, and one for the shutter release of the camera. In both cases, a 1K resistor works fine.
Further, you can use a tiny machine for controlling the camera with a simple Python script. Possibly, you can turn Raspberry Pi into a powerful and flexible intervalometer. This will trigger the shutter using sensors connected to the computer.
This process consists of a small amount of python. The perfect timing is when the solenoid valve is about 40cm above the surface of the water and each drop is 100ms apart. This concept provides suitable time for the first droplet to bounce back up and the second one to collide. Further, all you need is photography skill in terms of distance, focus etc.
Using a Raspberry Pi for water drop photography is a classic case of over-engineering. It opens up a whole new world of photographic opportunities
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