ConceptEuropeHigh-speed pictures; Liquid art of Markus Reugels

To Balance the technical aspects of the High-speed pictures i love to work with old m42 Lenses, and capture Flowers or insects. This is photography in pure culture.

My Name is Markus Reugels, i´m 34 years old, father of 2 children’s and Work in my day job as parquet layers.

I Start Photography about 3 years ago. I want to take good Pictures for the family album. But with the time it grows to a lovely hobby. My favorite genre is the Macro Photography, especially the High-speedPhotography with it i can show the beautiful things we don´t consider in our life, or we are not able to see them with our eyes.

To Balance the technical aspects of the High-speed pictures i love to work with old m42 Lenses, and capture Flowers or insects. This is photography in pure culture.

All I know in the photography is self-thought. I read a lot in the internet and bought books about lighting and so on. When I have fun with something, I take the time to learn it . Most of the things must be tested with “try and error” but I think this is the way you can improve your skills. Another point is that I focus on one genre,I make mainly macros and not every genre. I want to manage one genre very good and not many half-hearted.

The Basic “Drop on Drop” technique works with 2 drops. The First drop fall into the Water and formed a crater, then a crown and finally the Pillar. The second drop must be timed that he land on the Pillar and with the collision he formed the shapes like. Mushrooms, hats or flying disc.When the distance between the first and the second drop gets bigger, the shapes goes into flying disc. When the Distance gets lower, the shape turns more into hats. The middle Drop speed is about 10 drops per second (here are the Mushrooms) . With 15 drops per second comes the flying shapes and with 6 drops per second the hats.

To get smooth shapes with less sprinkles around them, i increase the viscosity with guar gum. This will help a lot. It´s more work to mix the Water and filter the grain out, but the results worth the Work. A very important thing in this genre is the light. I take lots of care into this. Before i start dropping, i set the Light perfect. A good shape looks poor in nasty light. So take care about it!

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To make the first experience with the water drops, you need some hints to get good results. You can start with a simple bag with a small hole , a tripod and remote trigger. With the camera flash you can make some pictures but you need to increase the power of the flash. The best way is an external flash which can be regulate manually. You must set the power of the flash lower than 1/16 to get sharp pictures. With such settings the flash duration is higher than 1/16000, this is the reason why the shutter speed is not important.  The action in high speed photography is freeze by the light and not by the shutter.

A good hint is to catch the falling drops into a cup and release the drops into the tray by moving the cup out of the way. So you have a quite water surface and you can control the timing of the manually trigger better than just the lucky push of the button.

Normally i thicken my drop Water with Guargum to increase the viscosity. I want a similar Viscosity as Milk or Cream. This helps to make smoother shapes and they hold longer together before they collapse. Sometimes i use only Milk, this is the best fluid for the droplets, You can bring Color into the Splash without coloring the Water. With milk you can bring color into the splash with the light, so you must only use gels on the flashes.
I use a Sony @700 with a Minolta 100 f2.8 Macro lens. As Flashes i use only the old Vivitar 285 with a little modification, to set the Power lower than 1/16. As timing Device i use a Homebrew Unit called GlimpseCatcher. With these i can time all events exactly on one point.
As Aperture is use F16, this is the best compromise between sharpness and diffraction blur. The Shutter speed is not important in the High-speedPhotography, the Action is freeze by the flashes. The Flashes have a flash duration fasten than 1/16000 at low power settings. No Camera has a shutter fast as the Flashes. I chose as Shutter speed 1/160 , but only for the Wireless trigger it Work best with these settings!
As ISO a chose between 160-320, it depends on how dark gels i use or what type of lighting.

In the Future I will try to improve my skills to get more Commercial jobs. Normal Water drops is difficult to work with products. So I try other thinks with water and the Product. At the Moment I make many pictures of Flowers and Blossoms with my old lenses. When the Insect comes out, I will go a bit deeper into Focus Stacking. This are some things I will focus in the future.[Official Website]

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One comment

  • Avatar
    Simone Zeffiro

    Jun 25, 2013 at 21:04

    My sincere compliments Markus for your wonderful photographs…

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