Strange water formation in long exposure

Started Jul 22, 2013 | Questions thread
TDR1 Contributing Member • Posts: 540
Re: Strange water formation in long exposure

This one has really been bugging me today. There should be a simple explanation but it seems to be an impossible photo.

Some possibilities but all seem remote:

  1. Image digitally altered to add the drops in post processing. (I know, not accusing here, but it's got to be considered as a possibility)
  2. Photo is made up of a series of stills with a shorter exposure and then stacked in post processing to produce the soft water effect.. This would mean that the exif was altered to make it appear to be a 2s exposure and the aperture of f32 kind of supports 2s. I think there are around 30 drops, but a drop would take  less than two seconds to make that arc, this puts it way beyond the capabilities of the 50D in terms of FPS.
  3. Strobe effect from a flash being on multi mode. The exif shows no flash but in 2 seconds it could have been triggered manually. I think the ambient light should show a faint arc in between the drops if this was the case, however the blown highlights in the water surface may support this.
  4. Strobe effect from something blowing in the wind and casting a shadow - unlikely anything could be that fast and that regular.
  5. It's not water drops but a static structure of some kind - can't see how that would be possible.

I can't think of any other possibilities. One thing that confuses me is the hight of the arc, it seems to rise higher than the drop of the waterfall which as a splash kind of defies the law of gravity doesn't it?

Aren't there some fish that spit water drops at insects to try and knock them into the water? That doesn't explain the frozen action though.

I think I would go for option 6 as the least unlikely, a flash on multi. It would be out of the shot, somewhere off to camera right. Failing that, I can only assume that it's a result of processing the photo.

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