Anatomy Of A Water Drop - The Fall
A drop or droplet is a small column of liquid, bounded completely or almost completely by free surfaces. A drop may form when liquid accumulates at the lower end of a tube or other surface boundary, producing a hanging drop called a pendant drop. Drops may also be formed by the condensation of a vapor or by atomization of a larger mass of liquid. ~ Wikipedia
I am captivated by the world of the small, and the world of the fast; things that are either too small for us to see, or look completely different up close, and things that happen so fast they normally go unnoticed by our eyes. Water drops combine both of these into one beautiful image, the intricate way the water drop interacts with whatever surface it falls on, and the tiny little details present in the scene. There is a reason I myself have taken tons of these types of photos, and many others have as well.
But even having seen this fast and tiny world myself in my images, and tons of other photos and slow motion videos online, I myself didn't realize the amazing dance that occurs as one little drop of water collides with another body of water. The physics involved are utterly breathtaking, and show a nature to our world that we don't normally see. Each step of the dance is a beautiful moment that has been seen in tons of photos in the past, but with some luck and a bit of set up, I have captured a nice little series of water drops that show each individual step of the dance, each motion and movement, as one little sphere of water joins with a larger body.
Welcome to Anatomy of a Water Drop, and I hope you enjoy each image over the next four days, as much as I have in taking and editing them. And as an added little bonus, once all 4 images are up, I will also put up a wallpaper pack, containing my normal amount of wallpaper sizes of each of the four photos for you to use on your desktop. As each image is posted, the old ones will be updated with descriptions from the new ones, and links to each one in the series.
The genesis of the whole event, the fall; as water falls from one place to the next, gravity giving it the speed it needs, air pushing back slowing its decent. While the rest of the series shows single drops interacting with the water surface, this one shows a bit of chaos that can occur when many drops fall at one time. We see bits and pieces of what is to come, along with the individual drops heading towards the surface. Not only is this the genesis of the future images, but also of the idea for the series.
As the drop comes into contact with the surface of the water, things start off almost how we think they would; the water drop forms a splash as a result of its impact. This seems fairly normal, one falling body with some force hits the surface of the water, even if its water also it should create a splash. But this is where we usually think things are close to an end; after the splash we expect a bit more commotion on the surface because of the disturbance, but we view the water as having merged, and that being that. But in truth only half of the drop has merged with the main body of water, the other half is about get moving, in the next photo of the series.
This phase is one I myself, and probably millions of others have photographed, it is such a beautiful and captivating part that it even has a scientific name: The Back-Jet. This is a column of water that shoots up right after the splash, with a spherical portion on top. That sphere? That is the water drop itself. As stated in "The Splash", only half of the drop merges, the other half bounce back up as part of the back-jet. This phenomenon is so captivating and from a physics standpoint, interesting, that research labs around the world have used high speed cameras to study this, and all phases of a water drop.
After the fast moving and beautiful back-jet, things don't settle back into our little picture of reality, instead the water drop goes through more of these bounce back moves just like the back-jet we see in the last photo, each time losing half its mass, until so little is left that it fully merges with the body of water. This is called the coalescence cascade; a phrase almost as beautiful as the show it puts on. This can happen multiple times, with the drop slowly shrinking with each. Capturing with a camera that final tiny little drop is such a challenge, that this is the first and only time I have ever pulled it off. The whole event has taken a fraction of a second, and to our eyes was over as quickly as it started, but it goes to show, the world slowed down, is a strange world indeed.
Want an amazing wallpaper of this, and the other 3 photos in the series? Check out the "Anatomy Of A Water Drop" Wallpaper Pack, just click the thumb below, or this link: [link]