Being an engineer at a Postproduction House gives me an opportunity to learn new skills and get involved in some interesting projects.
A few years ago one of these projects was to make a small camera controller that could be integrated with a motion control rig and a Nikon D3. The idea was to build a tiny PCB that would receive a pulse from the motion control rig and this would in turn fire shutter in the D3. This was simple circuit and was achieved with a transistor and a relay, but this did get me thinking that I should build something like this for home use.
At the end of last year I heard about Arduino Duemilanove/Uno, this great tool can be programmed and integrated into electronic circuits to do all sorts of wonderful things and it was just the thing that I was looking for!
I had recently tried to take some shots of water drops but out of (roughly) 300 shots there were only a few keepers, however with an Arduino and a simple circuit I’m hoping that the keep rate will be much higher; there are products that can be brought which will do this exact thing one of which is ‘stop shot’ but these are expensive and I find that half of the fun is in the designing, building and programming!!
Water drop photography is very addictive and you’ll find yourself constantly thinking of new ideas and designs for crowns and collisions!
A few essential items are required before you begin, these are:
1. DSLR (you could use a point and shoot if you can switch the camera to full manual)
2. External Flash Gun (you could use the on board flash but the lighting is harsh and you really want open the shutter before the flash is fired to avoid mirror slap)
The thought behind the process is that the flash duration will freeze the water. I’ll have my setup in a totally dark room and the camera will be in bulb mode; so the shutter can be open for as long as I want and then flash will freeze the motion and then the shutter will close. All of this will be controlled by the Arduino and all we need to do is press a button!!