Making a Splash Water Color Photographer Creates Patterns

Making a splash: Photographer creates astonishing technicolour patterns using water droplets and ink - These ingenious photographs show amazing multicoloured droplets of ink at the precise moment they impact with the surface of water.

The stunning pictures show drops of red, green and yellow ink bouncing off the water to create mesmerising mid-air shapes not visible to the naked eye.

Each image captures in startlingly sharp detail the droplets frozen in time and cascading as bright colours in all directions.

In one, the ink droplets combine to look like a transparent rainbow mushroom cloud.

And in another, a red stemmed droplet bursts into purple-green life as it splashed blue ink in a circular pattern to create an astounding crest.

The pictures were taken by full-time software engineer Tobias Brauening, 27, from Reutingen, Germany.

He said: 'The most fascinating aspect for me is that a water drop is such a simple thing which happens every day in nature.

'It's wonderful what nature can create, and I like to make this visible to others.

'They wonder how it is possible for the colours to get in there and how I can trigger the camera in the right moment.'

The secret to Mr Brauening's success lies in his interest in technology, computers and photography.

He decided to study the little known subject of mechatronics, which combines all three subjects together to produce the outstanding and challenging images.

'Because I learned something about electronics and microcontrollers while studying, I bought a microcontroller board, built some electronics and started with great success.

'I used three new special valves, experimented with making them drop to the same point and my new images were born.'

First he fills a plastic tank with shallow water. He then adds a different colour to each of the three valves and uses three flashes with contrasting colour filters for the background.

Mr Brauening then sets up his microcontroller and camera, adjusts his three valves and pushes the trigger.

This activates both the valves and the camera shutter, which are synchronised to capture the vital moment.

'But even with all the technical help, sometimes it takes hours until I get the shape and colours that I wish for,' he added.

'A collision of three drops needs accurate timing in a range of a few milliseconds.

'The other issue is the lighting, which needs some practice around the reflections on the water, background, colour filters and the position of the flashes.'


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