Gorgeous Macro Photos Perfectly Capture Colorful Splashing Liquid

Craig Loechel, an Australian photographer, went blindly from experimenting with a water dropkit for the first time to learning the art of macro liquid photography.

Liquid Art Photography: The Unpredictable Nature

Loechel is a “serious photographer” for more than 13 years, but he says that he has had a strong interest since childhood in art. Although he shoots many subjects, his favourite genres are macro and extreme macro.

Loechel was inspired by David’s interest in water drop kits and offered it to him. Loechel spent several days trying to figure out how to make basic water drop collisions without any research.

PetaPixel says that “it was quite a struggle.” After his first collision image, Loechel was hooked. He began to experiment with different lighting settings and gradually learned how to create more complex formations.

Water droplet collision
Water droplet collision
Water droplet collision
Water droplet collision

Loechel says that the technical aspect of liquid art is what draws me most to it. “It’s very satisfying to get an image that makes me go wow when I see it from the back of my camera.

He says that there are many things that must be done to make that happen. “Then again, sometimes something unexpected will occur and shock you. This is the unpredictable nature that I find fascinating about playing with liquids.”

How to Setup a Successful Droplet Collision

Loechel states that the most difficult part of a liquid art shoot for many is finding the right settings. Loechel has seen photographers record their settings, but this is not the best approach for his photography.

There are many factors that can affect this. He explains that liquid viscosity, temperature and other variables can’t be exact and there are many variables. It is a good idea to learn the functions of your controller and how water drops are formed. YouTube slow-motion videos are a good place to start.

Water droplet collision
Water droplet collision
Water droplet collision

Loechel also started this way. To understand the dynamics of collisions, he watched slow-motion videos. Because it’s high-speed photography, he used flash at low power (like 1/64) to freeze the motion using a very short duration of light.

Loechel uses a professional MJKZZ 6 Valve Controller for droplets. However, he designs and 3D prints his own nozzles. The nozzles combine air pressure and liquid pressure to shoot the liquid out of the nozzles into various shapes. They also create a collision in the middle with the drops from the top.

Water droplet collision
Water droplet collision
Water droplet collision
Water droplet collision

Loechel says that when he gets everything right, it is like nothing else. Loechel is motivated to continue shooting, because photography is “the best therapy” that he can ask for.

However, he doesn’t like the part after the fact — cleaning up all the mess.