Triggering a camera flash using water droplets

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scrope
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Triggering a camera flash using water droplets

Postby scrope » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:49 pm

I'd like to create a simple device that would allow me to trigger a camera flash (not on the camera) when a water droplet is about to splash into a pool of water. I'm thinking that a light sensor might be the way to go but I'm wondering if that would be the best.

When the water droplet interrupted the light I could then potentially control the delay before the flash fired so as to get the water droplet going into the water/striking the water/ coming out of the water.

I don't have much experience in hardware (I'm a software guy) but it sounds like this might be doable using the Phidget components.

Any suggestions as to which devices would be most appropriate and how to wire them up?

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Patrick
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Re: Triggering a camera flash using water droplets

Postby Patrick » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:31 pm

May be easier to control the dropping of the water droplet rather then detecting it.

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scrope
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Re: Triggering a camera flash using water droplets

Postby scrope » Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:42 pm

Patrick wrote:May be easier to control the dropping of the water droplet rather then detecting it.

-Patrick


An interesting idea but I have less of a clue how to do that than I think I do about triggering when I "see" a droplet go by. Since we are talking very short times here, I would need to know exactly when the drop was released and I can't figure out how I would do that.

Thanks for the suggestion.

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Patrick
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Re: Triggering a camera flash using water droplets

Postby Patrick » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:21 pm

Why do you want to trigger just the flash and not the camera as well?

I'm not sure of the time for a water drop to fall (though it would be easy to calculate) but keep in mind that the analog inputs have a reporting latency of up to ~20ms or more.

I think your success will be much greater if you control the droplets directly.

Alternatively, you could go simpler and have a steady drip drip and keep taking pictures - but I think this isn't what you want.

http://www.diyphotography.net/the-compr ... aphy-guide
http://www.hiviz.com/kits/kits.htm
http://www.flickr.com/photos/10756887@N ... 369221788/

-Patrick

scrope
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Re: Triggering a camera flash using water droplets

Postby scrope » Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:09 pm

I did a quick calculation and with a 20ms delay that works out to about 6.4 feet of travel. I thought it might be a short enough delay but after doing the calculation I think I need a trigger with a shorter delay.

I like the drip trigger in the first URL you posted but all the equipment would be around $475 which is a bit more than I want to spend on this right now.

I might just take a low tech approach like what you mentioned and just shoot a lot of drips. It will take a lot more time but the cost is practically zero.

Thanks for the suggestions.


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