This is a question I frequently get. The short answer is, “Most likely it will.”
Most any camera will do. I use a an electronic circuit to trigger the camera, so I need one that has an electronic shutter release (most do). I use a variety of methods to create my Liquid Sculpture images, but in general, the technique is as follows:
- 1. Create the drop(s), somehow, knowing just when it is released, somehow.
2. Wait a specific amount of time.
3. Open the shutter.
4. Wait a bit more.
5. Trigger the flash.
6. Close the shutter.
7. Repeat ad nauseum.
I use a flash for all my lighting, and the high speed of the flash is what stops the motion. The shutter speed is not important – I usually use 1/100th second.
A person can instead use a fast shutter for some of this work, but I haven’t played with it much. Most modern cameras have a maximum shutter speed of 1/4000th or 1/8000th second. That is fast enough to stop many types of motion like single drop splashing. It won’t work very well for a popping balloon, or for the tiny droplets flying off from a splash. The fast moving parts will be blurred (which could be a desirable effect.)
One problem with using the shutter is the lag between triggering the shutter and the moment it opens – it isn’t truly deterministic. It may be 53 milliseconds on one shot and 54 on the next. That millisecond can be a large amount of time for some types of shots. My set up allows for 1/1,000,000 second accuracy, though I usually only work in 1/10,000 second increments.
Another problem is that focal plane shutters use a sliding window – a small slit moves across the film (CCD) surface. While each part of the film is exposed for only 1/8000th second, it actually takes 1/250th second for the slit to make its journey, so each part is exposed at a slightly different time. There are some clever ways to put this characteristic to use. In fact, Andrew Davidhazy at RIT has taken this to the extreme with his “strip camera”.