If you have a GoPro camera and would like to take images like the one seen above, you want a dome lens. Though if you’re very careful, you can accomplish this type of shot with a normal GoPro, but you have to place camera very accurately where the water meets the air, a difficult proposition given the waves that nearly always exist in a body of water. A dome lens gives you several inches of positional leeway, and you can build your own following the instructions after the “read more” link!
Have you ever wondered how a picture like the splashing dice above was taken? Maybe you assumed the photographer had excellent timing (which is possible), but with this howto article from Make, you don’t have to rely on timing or luck, you can actually predict when the splashdown will happen and trigger the camera appropriately.
If you remember back to high school physics class, distance (d) traveled by a falling object is predicted by: d = 1/2gt^2 or you can just guess, as they do in the howto. The Make setup shown below starts a falling object with a solenoid, meaning that there will be a set time until the object hits the water. Whether you guess or calculate, things should be consistent once calibrated. Quite clever.
When I saw this splash photography rig, I thought that they were going to use a sensor to predict when the falling object was about to hit the water. If you could find an appropriate sensor for this, I think that would be a good way to do it. On the other hand, those kind of sensors can be expensive, and there would still need to be some guesswork, since you might have to offset it to not get in the way of the shot…
I’ll add this to the list of projects that I probably won’t get to. Anyone try something like this? Let me know in the comments!
Ben recently wrote in about his recent camping trip on the Black river in Wisconsin. It looks like they had a great time, and the river itself looks like a pretty ideal canoe-camping location. Of interest here, was the GoPro paddle mount that he made using a Mini Cardellini Clamp (Amazon), which looks like a vise with male 3/8 – 16 threads coming out of it. It’s attached to a Manfrotto 494 Ball Head (Amazon) that allows the GoPro’s 1/4 – 20 tripod adapter to screw into it.
This technique should work with any camera, but I’m not sure I’d trust a full-sized DSLR wth it!
As seen in the video after the “read more” at 0:27, the paddle is used as a “tripod,” similar to the PVC stake mount featured here earlier. I initially thought this would be used for “FPV paddle” shots, but those probably wouldn’t look that good. A very similar setup was used on the canoe’s upper edge, as seen below. Note the safety cord; never trust your GoPro over water!*