Initial idea: You are not lighting the water. Given that water is a specular object, you are lighting what the water mirrors. So, you light the location, most likely the background, that you see mirrored in the still water from your camera setting
As for timing, that a person is easy, simply take the spam approach. Great deals of water drop photography, lots of rep, as well as something great and uncertainty will come back. This is part of the fun. Simply make sure you obtain your technical things down rub initially, so when that best minute occurs, you’ll have a victor.
Last, and speaking of technological stuff, you will certainly want to shoot in a fairly dark environment so the flash pulse can effectively be your shutter speed.
You are recommended to setup 1/16th power. That’s a rather fast pop about 1/11,000 of a second for an SB-800, for example. But you can get even quicker times if you go down the power further. And when cold, drops of water, microseconds matter.
The tradeoff? Aperture vs. Pulse Length
You will certainly need adequate power to get you adequate aperture to carry the depth of field you desire, but do not exaggerate the power to get excess aperture, as that’ll unnecessarily extend the pulse size of your flash.
In lights, everything is a tradeoff.
Easy, fun and also cheap if you can obtain that flash off-camera.
And also, these same strategies can be amped as much as generate even more amazing pictures. A lot of professional photographers have built an occupation out of making art from drops of water. If you enjoy this type of stuff, make certain to check out their amazing gallery to obtain a peek of simply what is possible.