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The Challenges of Water Drop Photography 

The Challenges of Water Drop Photography 

Interested in taking water drop photography? The fascinating images of delicate water droplets falling and creating instantaneous sculptures can capture any photographer’s imagination. However, it might seem hard to get started with this unique type of photography, especially if you’re a beginner.

Should Beginners Fear Going into Water Drop Photography?

Most people who want to try water drop photography are often overwhelmed by questions, such as: is my camera powerful enough to take high-speed water drop images? Do I have all the tools I need in my camera bag? Do I need to buy expensive and complicated water drop equipment? 

If the camera equipment and tools for creating water drops are not the problem, newbies still get intimidated and are often bombarded by the same doubts and equally valid concerns: where can I learn how to successfully capture water droplets?  How do you create the perfect water droplets, and how do you time your shots? What kind of water drop kit would be best for you to try? 

And finally, the most important question of all that discourages beginners is, how can my water drop photos stand out among hundreds, if not thousands, of water drop photos taken by professionals?

Indeed, these worries can paralyze a creative’s mind and unwillingly make them drop this interest in water drop photography. The good news is, there are ways to overcome these challenges. Water drop can be easier than you ever imagined!

In this article, we’ll talk more about the challenges of taking water drop photography mentioned above. We’ll also give you the solutions that you need to address these challenges and finally get started in this awesome photography genre.

blue water drop

The Challenges of Taking Water Drop Images and the Smart Solutions to Overcome Them

Here are the most common worries that every beginner has when getting started with water drop photography.

Challenge #1: I don’t have a camera that is powerful enough to capture water drop events.

Water drop events can be an intimidating subject because it’s one of the fastest subjects in nature. As a high-speed event, beginners often think that their regular, entry-level DSLR does not have a fast enough shutter speed to capture the fascinating motion of a droplet as it hits the water surface and creates these unique and surreal splashes.

Aside from being artistic images, water drops can only be captured through a fast shutter speed. This technique will also develop your skills in high-speed photography, which is used to capture images that occur in a fraction of a second and cannot be seen with the naked eye - lending a unique dimension to your photographs and increasing your creative possibilities.

high speed water drop

Aside from trying to click the camera’s shutter to signal your flash to burst and freeze the droplet and resulting water sculpture in motion, imagine the number of photos and drops you need to capture that perfect shot. Will you have enough time and patience to spend hours of studio time only to get blurry and not-so-impressive photos?

Solution: Use a smart camera trigger to turn your regular, entry-level DSLR into a high-speed camera device.

The good news is, you don’t have to upgrade your entire camera equipment just to get started in water drop photography. There’s a camera device that can easily turn your gear into high-speed equipment: a camera trigger. What can it do?

A camera trigger, especially a smart camera trigger, like MIOPS Smart+ is one of the most intuitive remote triggers in the market today. It can turn your camera, even an entry-level DSLR into a high-speed capture device that is powerful enough to take high-speed photos, including water drop events, water splashes, and water sculptures. This works by remotely triggering your shutter to shoot millisecond-events. It can also be connected to your flashguns to trigger their burst simultaneously. 

As a camera trigger for water drop photography,  MIOPS Smart+ has motion sensors activated through its laser mode. What happens is, when the droplet breaks the laser or the event zone where you set your motion sensor, it signals your camera to shoot and your flash to burst at the same time. The result is a clean, blur-free, and high-definition image of water dancing and bursting to life.

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Challenge #2: I don’t have a home studio suitable for a water drop photography session.

For every type of photography, there’s an ideal studio setup. Water drop photography with water as its main subject may seem simple because it's just water, right? That’s not entirely true. Most water drop photographer beginners often encounter the problem of properly executing a water drop event as well as creating a practical set-up for the water dropping mechanism.

Is there a do-it-yourself way of creating a water drop tool, for example, poking a hole in a plastic bag or bottle, hanging and suspended in the air, and letting its droplets hit a liquid surface below to create good water drop events? Many beginners found the answer to be YES, but ended up wasting an entire day of photoshoot because of missed shots, blurry images, and less exciting results. Why? Because of the hours of trial-and-error and just relying on luck to get that perfect but rare shot of a beautiful water drop. Many of these attempts even produce photos that are too far from their ideal composition and expected results.

water splash

So what should you do to overcome this challenge and not add to the number of those who failed to get their first perfect water drop photo?

Solution: Rely on the accuracy, precision, and control that a water drop equipment can offer.

What is a water drop equipment? Also known as a water drop kit, a water drop equipment is a device that’s designed especially for water drop photography. Its mechanism allows photographers to control the unpredictability of water and release water droplets according to a pre-set size, frequency, and drop height.

One of the most perfect examples of a water drop kit is MIOPS Splash, a stand-alone and easy-to-use water drop equipment that provides the advantages and functionalities mentioned above. This equipment comes in a high-quality valve system and a unique aluminum-machined nozzle to complete the world’s first intuitive water drop mechanism.

The amazing thing about this device is, unlike other DIY water drop tools, the MIOPS Splash can be controlled using your smartphone. Through the dedicated MIOPS mobile application, you can remotely control your water drop kit and manipulate a single droplet to an entire drop sequence. This control covers the size of every water drop, the distance between each drop, the frequency of the water drop, and the overall timing of this high-speed event.

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Challenge #3: I don’t know the correct camera settings to use for a water drop photoshoot.

Finding the correct camera settings for any type of photography is both frustrating and time-consuming. Imagine having everything set up, your equipment and your subject ready, but still trying to figure out the right exposure level, aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, so as not to waste an entire drop sequence! 

Solution:  Watch and read tutorials from experts who have successfully completed their own water drop sessions.

Professional photographers usually use 100-200 for the ISO settings to eliminate the noise. This will depend on your studio’s lighting so make sure that you do some test shots first. The aperture setting is set around the range of f10 to f14, again, depending on your light source. Your Exposure level should depend on the number of flash units that you’re going to use for the setup. Your shutter speed should work together with your flash’s burst, unless you’re using a camera trigger that can set off your devices simultaneously.

These standard settings can be helpful in creating your own custom camera settings. As mentioned above, this will depend on your studio set-up, your light source, and the number of flashguns or flash units you use for the photoshoot.

challenges of water drop photography

Challenge #4: Water is a very unpredictable medium and it seems impossible to conceptualize your water drop photos and plan a composition ahead.

That is true. Water is an extremely unpredictable medium and this presents one of the most common challenges in water drop photography: conceptualizing your water drop photos and creating a composition in advance. 

Water drop photography is a type of artistic photography, which offers the unique chance for photographers to transform an image with their creativity. Artistic photographs go beyond the documentation of a scene: they show the creator’s personal vision and give a glimpse into their mood, intellect and thought process. When capturing an artistic image, a photographer takes a much more active role in controlling the outcome. 

Solution: Plan your water drop photoshoot in advance and take different factors into account. 

There are also physical factors to consider when developing your concept. You’ll need to take your available time and budget into account, and make sure that your concept is achievable. No matter what concept you ultimately decide on, there are techniques and affordable tools that are available to help you realize your vision. 

Once you’ve formulated your creative concept, start planning ahead for your water drop photoshoot. It’s best to prepare early, especially if you want to limit your costs. This will give you enough time to find and acquire the equipment that will give you the best results. The main goal of your setup is to create an environment where you have precise control over all the factors in the shoot.

overcome challenges of water drop photography

Challenge #5. There are already thousands of water drop images out there. How can I deliver a creative water drop photo that stands out?

Despite the challenges that water drop photography poses to beginner photographers, this remains one of the most beloved genres in the world today. Online, you can see thousands of water drop images in all shapes, forms, colors, and sizes. While these can be inspiring to most people, sometimes, you can’t help but get discouraged: how can you stand out and deliver a photo that has never been taken before? You might find yourself asking: What if I produce an image that’s just so cliche and common?

If you’re struggling with the same doubts, go back to your computer and take a better look at the top Google results for water drop photos. Now, look closer. Compare each image to the other. Take your time to examine their shapes, colors, and forms.  Are they the same photos? Are there identical water sculptures taken by two different photographers? 

No. Each photo is unique in its own way. Each photo has its own personality, just like the person behind the lens. 

Solution: Define your style as a water drop photographer.

As an emerging water drop photographer, you have this opportunity to display your style and creative knowledge. To help you conceptualize your water drop photoshoot, here are some questions you can ask yourself in order to prompt the creative process: What would you like your water drop images to communicate to the viewer? What would be your ideal audience? Where would you like your images to be shown - in physical exhibits, an online portfolio, or used for commercial purposes? Your answers to these questions define the goals of your water drop photoshoot. 

There are different concepts and ideas that you can experiment with. You can lean on inspirations from something as abstract as a mood, like melancholy (think raindrops) or romance; it can also be something that is related to an aspect of daily life (think splashes of milk or refreshing drinks).

challenges of water splash photography

Since your imaginative ability is so vital to the process, developing a unique concept is an important step. Additionally, remember that the materials you use during your shoot can make a huge difference when coming up with a creative image that stands out.

So there you have it: the solutions to the most common water drop photography challenges that helped beginners become masters of this exciting photography genre. Hopefully, this has helped address your own concerns with this photography type. We’d love to see how you move forward with your first water drop photoshoot!

Overcome Every Photography Challenge Today!

Just remember that regardless of the photography genre, there will always be these challenges that you have to overcome. The good news is technology in photography has evolved a long way so that you can achieve the seemingly impossible in all your creative endeavors. 

Our team in MIOPS knows this too well, so we have developed products and solutions that will transform your experience as a photographer. Check out our most recommended camera triggers and accessories today!

Blog Credit: Charm Villalon

Charm is a writer and a visual artist. Her drive to share ideas and stories is evident in her background in communication arts and language studies. Years of professional experience in content creation have given her a broad proficiency with the process of engaging online communities. An appreciation for multiple languages and cultures drives her to seek out experiences and capture these moments through her writing, digital art, and photography.

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