Eruption

Eruption

I didn’t really know what to expect when I shot this, and I guess that kind of makes sense because I didn’t even plan on taking this picture at all in the first place. This was on a Sunday afternoon in January when, oddly, we were caught in a bit of a spring rain as opposed to winter snow. My wife was running a few errands and I had just returned home from the hardware store with our kids when they asked if they could ride their bikes around in the rain. Even though it was a bit chilly I told them to go right ahead since, let’s be honest, there’s few things more fun when you’re a kid than tearing through puddles on a bike :)

I did some work in the garage as they were zooming around and soon noticed a steady drip-drip-drip near the corner of the driveway where a bit of water was falling from the gutters overhead. I ran in to get my camera to see if I could capture one of the drops as it hit the tiny pool of water gathered below the gutter, and ended up with what you see here. It’s an interesting image but has some technical issues that are difficult for me to overlook, mainly the prominent back-focusing and the fact that I ended up using a slightly higher ISO than I’m normally comfortable with on my D7100. But it served as an interesting proof-of-concept and is something I’d like to explore a bit more in the future.

To get this shot on my D7100 I held it low to the ground and flipped over to Live View in order to get it focused properly. I could have used the optical viewfinder but didn’t feel like laying down on the soaking ground, and Live View turned out to work just fine especially considering that I’m a back-button focuser anyway :) I put my camera in Continuous High Speed mode and held the shutter down every time a drop was about to hit, which fired off a half-dozen pictures before filling the painfully small buffer on the camera. Doing all this in Live View was painfully slow so eventually I just used Live View to nail focus and then switched it off to fire off my bursts of shots. That’s probably what caused the focusing on this particular picture to be off by just a bit, and even though I wish I could have gotten a slightly clearer image I guess I don’t mind all that much and it’ll help me to work just a bit harder next time to make sure I really get things right.

Comments

  1. I am new to your site and somewhat new to photography so THANK YOU for explaining HOW you achieved a certain image! I think it is a beautiful shot. As it warms up here in Wisconsin, I have tried to captured snow melting and dripping and you have helped me with ideas.

    • You’re very welcome Ann, and I’m glad you found my thought process to be helpful. I hope you’re able to capture some of the beauty of springtime in Wisconsin as the snow starts to melt in a month or two! I used to live in Minnesota and it’s absolutely beautiful in the springtime.

  2. Simon,
    To a photographer, every sight, every sound, every thought can lead to a new photography idea. How many people would have heard the drop and just ignored it, but you took advantage of it and produced this image. Once again you have shown us that opportunities are all around us. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you Dennis! Though I must admit there are probably hundreds of times when I did just what you said and ignored all the droplets around me, but you’re right…when you stop and think and look at the world around, there’s photographic opportunities nearly everywhere :)

  3. Looks like a Yellowstone geyser! Haha! It’s a nice splash photo!

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