Home Photography Ideas: Make a splash with water drop photography
Watch Video: Home Photography Ideas – Water Drop Photography
Have you ever wondered how to create those water drops that seem to magically hang in the air? It’s not a Photoshop trick – you just need a few simple ingredients to whip up your own droplet photo.
The principle is simple: by releasing a droplet of liquid into a bowl filled with water, you can create a perfect spherical splash effect with concentric ripples that spread outwards.
When your camera is set to your flash sync speed, it’s not the shutter speed that freezes the drop of water but the flash of light. A typical flash burst lasts between 1/30000 and 1/1000 s, which is much faster than any shutter speed.
It’s all in the timing; you will need to trigger the shutter a split second after releasing the water drop. It comes with practice… and luck. You’ll have to set the high-speed continuous shooting mode and shoot lots of frames before you get the perfect shot.
You can experiment with food coloring and different liquids, like oil or milk, but let’s keep it simple and start with good old H20 for now…
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01 Get ready
You will need a bowl or dish to hold the water, as well as an eyedropper or dropper to extract the liquid drop by drop. The height at which you hold your pipette will determine the shape and size of your droplet, so experiment with different elevations and see what you like best.
02 Add flash
The key to good water drop photography is to place a flash on either side of the bowl, shooting through the end of your lens (so it’s wise to use a lens hood to prevent glare spoil your photo). This gives shape and form to your splash, making it look like a sculpture in your final shot.
03 Aim your camera
Mount your camera on a tripod and line it up with the water dish so that you have a slight downward angle to the surface of the water. This angle helps eliminate the rim of the bowl in the background, which would otherwise be a distraction in your composition.
04 Lock focus
Zoom in until your entire frame is filled with water. Place the pipette in the center of the bowl and use autofocus to focus the pipette until it is in focus. Then slide the AF switch to the manual focus position to prevent the camera from trying to focus every time you take a picture.
05 Adjust exposure
A macro lens will allow you to focus on the droplet up close. In manual mode, we set an aperture of f/16 for increased depth of field, a shutter speed of 1/200s to match flash sync speed, and ISO100 to minimize noise.
06 It’s the right time
Using a remote shutter allows you to be further away from your camera body. This is useful if you’re shooting by yourself, so you can trigger the shutter at the exact moment you simultaneously release the water drop. If not, it’s good to have someone to help you, otherwise it can be difficult to work with the self-timer.
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