Every Drop Counts

YPS Meet | Dec 3 | State Youth Centre

Even as Nada weakened, the unstoppable YPS members stormed in to the State Youth Centre to attend the captivating program on Water Drops Photography by Sudhakar.

On the cold Saturday evening of December 3rd, Mr. Sudhakar took the members of YPS on his wonderful journey of Water Drop Photography. Inspired by a photograph in an exhibition, Mr. Sudhakar started photography as a hobby in 1999 and used to frequent the natural habitats around Bangalore to capture macros, birds and wild life. But as his career progressed, he realised that he had to engineer a genre that was customised for his working hours and interest. Thus began his love affair with a niche specialisation, study of water drops and their behaviour.

Over the years, Mr. Sudhakar built and re-modelled his setup to photograph the water drops. What started as a simple setup consisting of DSLR, flash, a tray to hold water, a background and an IV fluid dispenser has now grown in every dimension. He has researched the fluid dynamics, mechanics of the supporting structure, optics of the camera and gradually introduced electronics for finer control of the setup. His current setup consists of the following:

  • A water dispenser whose outlet is connected to a solenoid valve
  • Canon EOS 5DMKII, 70-300mm IS USM, 24-105 L IS USM, few flashes & strobes
  • A translucent luminous background
  • Several media to hold fluids that should be photographed
  • An Arduino based controller that he has programmed for fine level of control on,
    1. triggering of the camera and flash
    2. the frequency an number of water drops and
    3. overall synchronisation of the process
  • A very robust mechanical structure to support the entire setup

It had taken years of experience, observation, perseverance and passion for Mr. Sudhakar to freeze the drop, capture the splash of drops and to create mesmerising art forms with the fluid dynamics that are both sophisticated and subtle. He has not only experimented with various types, colours and viscosity of fluids but also played with the way the fluids are lit to create magic. His presentation illustrated all this and more.

Coming to think of so much engineering involved in Mr. Sudhakar’s endeavour, it’s pleasantly surprising that his career is in software and he’s pursued several fields in engineering as a pure hobby. It must take immense dedication for a person to spend hours and hours alone in the wee hours of the night after returning from work to research and make progress in the field of his interest which is just a hobby.

The presentation was a great hit with the new members as well as the experienced folks alike. Curiosity led to several questions from the audience. The presentation even inspired some young visitors into considering photography as an obvious field of interest. The session ended with a potential workshop by Sudhakar on Water Drop Photography in the coming days. On the overall, it was a great evening spent in awe of a humble person who’s driven by his love for water drops.

Summarized for YPS by Mamatha Srivathsa, IM-33. Thank you Mamatha for the wonderful write-up.

Additional Links

For people interested to learn more, here are some links:

It is captivating and engaging. The learning is immense. Hard work required is a lot. Creativity required, even more. We already saw same great contributions from YPS Members. Please share your images on YPS Photo Share and your leanings on the YPS Discussion Forum.