NEW YORK – They may resemble magical-looking toadstools or alien structures, but these stunning images in fact capture the precise moment a droplet of water is shot with a pellet gun.
As the droplet falls and splashes into a tray of water below, a pellet cuts through the artificially-coloured liquid and elegant shapes are created.
To capture the moment, the photographer took many hundreds of images and then trawled through them all to select the most striking shots.
Francois Loubser, 42, from South Africa, snapped the moment of impact by constructing a complicated set-up to take the photos.
The businessman said: ‘I build a rig with a computer control board that helps with the timing aspects.’
He explained his process is ‘all about timing. From the first drop there is about 70 milliseconds to the second and 40 milliseconds for the third.
‘I use water softener in the tray below to break the water tension. That makes your plume jump higher.
‘This [also] makes the water stronger [so it does] not break up as easily which gives you better shapes. Every day is different. When you start, you first have to get the initial impact.
Once the set-up is perfect, Mt Loubser said that he starts to shape his shots using timers.
‘It can take 100 to 200 shots to start. Then you start taking proper images. Probably 200 to 500 shots will yield five to 10 great images.’
The moment of impact: Francois Loubser, 42, from South Africa, caught the moment of impact by constructing a complicated rig to take the photos
A precise art: From the first drop of water there is about 70 milliseconds to the second and 40 milliseconds for the third, the businessman explained. He used water softener in the tray of water to break the water tension
A little bit sci-fi: This shot may look like some of of force filed in a sci-fi film, but shows the shape when a drop of water bounces off water’s surface. Some of the images show a pellet cutting through the artificially coloured liquid and others simply show the beauty of water droplets
Mr Loubser explained it can take 100 to 200 shots to begin taking his best images. He said: ‘then you start taking proper images. Probably 200 to 500 shots will yield five to 10 great images.’ Pellets fired from a gun are visible in these two images
Deep impact: As the droplet splashes into the water (pictred left and right) a pellet cuts through the artificially coloured liquid, which has fabric softener added to it