12.02.12, Week 26: Droplets

by pbnb

Post number twenty-six sees this blog reach its half year anniversary, which according to WordPress is not a milestone, unlike every fifth post I make. The fluidity of time is such a strange concept. The last six months seem to have at once gone very quickly and very slowly; in some ways it feels like I only started this project last week, whilst in others it feels like something I’ve done this every week forever. In another aspect of time, the second term of this academic year is slipping through my fingers, it’s the third week tomorrow and I’m not sure where the time has gone. This also has good and bad aspects; my girlfriend is back for her ten-day Spring Break in five weeks time, but I also have a huge amount of work to do before then. Anyway, enough about that. If you’d like to take a look back at the posts I’ve done over the preceding six month period, go to my Archive page for a list of my existing posts. Or, if you don’t fancy wading through pages of my gibbering, I also have a Gallery page which simply displays each image.

This week I tried to take pictures of water drops falling into a basin, but failed miserably. I created a good setup for doing it; I borrowed my housemates tripod which has a hook on the bottom of it, allowing me to suspend a ziplock bag with a hole punched in the zip. I put a pin prick in the bottom of it and filled it with water to create a constant rate of drips. I then put a Pyrex basin full of water on a table beneath it and set up my own tripod facing the basin. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the focus right on any of the lenses that i currently own. Only one of them has a close focus ring, but it was not a long enough focal length to allow me to capture the droplets in a full frame whilst having them in focus. I also struggled with providing enough light, despite my home-made diffusers, consisting of desk lamps with baking paper fitted over the bulb, doing a good job of preventing any direct light or reflections. I gave up and mentally shelved the shot for when I have my new lens at the end of March.

The other set of shots I took this week were also of water droplets, however, this time, they were in the form of condensation on the inside of my bedroom windows. Living in a damp and poorly insulated student house means that the large bay window in my room is nearly always coated in condensation in the morning. I’ve often considered taking pictures of the droplets, but have only got around to it his week. I attached the close-up filters to my lens and spent a while trying to create an even background to the image as the droplets took on the colour of everything on the street behind them.

I really enjoy the feeling of the bokeh created by the close-up filters; the erasure of the definitive edges of the individual droplets and the blurring of their texture makes for a good contrast with the sharpness of those droplets that are in focus. I’m slightly annoyed that there isn’t an even saturation of colour throughout the frame. As it is, the brightness of the background in the top portion of the image decreases the contrast between droplet and background. I think that the darker background in the bottom of the image provides a better backing to the droplets as it allows them to stand out more. If I was going to take the image again, I think I would be tempted to create it artificially on a piece of glass that I could create an even background to.

I hope you’re enjoying looking at my pictures and reading my writings as much as I am taking and composing them. Please do keep coming back and drop me a comment once in a while, it’s nice to know what people think.


I’ve made much more of an effort to listen to music in the last 7 days than I had when I wrote this last week. Unbeknown to me, there is a large amount of classical music that has been produced as of late. I’m not a huge classical fan and my exposure to it has been fairly limited, despite the attempts of my more cultured girlfriend. I’m always put off by what I, perhaps narrow mindedly, see as the large orchestra sound of a large amount of classical music, which I find chaotic and overpowering. The music that both my girlfriend and a good friend of mine have introduced to me this week is, however, far from this description.

On the recommendation of said good friend, music by Nils Frahm, a contemporary composer hailing from Berlin, was the first I listened to this week. All three of the songs from his 2009 release Wintermusik are on YouTube to listen to, ‘Ambre’ being my favourite, but all of them are beautiful. I sent the links to my girlfriend, knowing that she was a big fan of that type of music. When I spoke to her next, she told me about Ludovico Einaudi, another contemporary composer, from Italy this time. There is a lot of his music on YouTube, videos which I’m sure won’t be there much longer as ACTA takes hold. ‘I Giorni’ is probably my favourite piece of music that I have listened to, it also happened to be the first, but I am yet to find one that I dislike.

Both of the composers rely heavily on the piano, an instrument that I’ve always wished I could play for its beautiful simplicity. I’m really appreciative to those that have shared this music with me; it is such good music to sort images to, as well as to sit with a glass of whiskey and reflect on life.


      • Date taken: 08.02.12
      • Aperture: f/11
      • Speed: 1/1600 sec
      • ISO: 640
      • Focal length: 55mm