Catching a Drop
A photographer finds art in the smallest of drops.
An insatiable desire to learn about every aspect of photography led German photographer Markus Reugels to the photography community on the Internet. While online discussions on ISO, aperture, and shutter speed piqued his interest, so too did the subject of macrophotography. The arty, close-up images of otherwise ordinary objects, in particular drops of water, so fascinated the photographer that he began experimenting on his own, developing techniques and altering the lighting and the viscosity of the fluid to capture stunning images he refers to as “liquid art.” The 33-year-old father of two now teaches his technique to others and sells his art worldwide. Here, we showcase some of his portfolio.
Glowing Colors captures drops of milk lit by colored flashguns.
“Normally, I take about 300 to 500 images per shot,” says Reugels. He uses a wooden scaffolding, shown below, with a valve to control the drops he will photograph. The bowl on the table is where the drops will collide to form the shapes, and the frosted glass behind the bowl acts as a diffuser. Reugels considers the prep work of setting the light and choosing the colors for each shot to be of vital importance. “Every session is a new adventure, and the settings from previous series must be changed,” he says. “The viscosity, the water temperature … there are so many parameters that influence the results that no photo can be exactly reproduced.”
For the photos Glowing Colors and Painting with Light, Reugels used the set-up shown below. The colors in these shots come from the flashes as opposed to coloring the liquid itself. “For these pictures I used pure milk without any colors,” he says. “I use three flashguns with different gels on them to create such colorful images.” The action shot on the following page, says Reugels, was a “technical gamble.” “Normally I want a crown on both sides,” he says, “but the drop came so late on the right side that it lay on the soap bubble. This came out, in my opinion, better than having the crown on both sides.” Reugels continues to experiment not only with his liquid art, but with other macro techniques as well. Visit celebratedliving.com/webexclusives
to see more of his portfolio.