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The Simplest Way to Produce Professional Droplet Images

The Simplest Way to Produce Professional Droplet Images

Water droplet images are a sub-genre of high-speed photography, in which thousands of image makers specialize and regularly produce spectacular creations.

As both camera and triggering technology has improved, it’s gone from a type of photography that at its inception was predominately carried out in labs by scientists, to something that now anyone can have fun getting involved in.


Taken by Jos Daanen using MIOPS SPLASH

At their most basic, droplet images take very little equipment to start experimenting with, just a normal camera, lens, flash, and pipette are enough to begin. However, with droplets falling in split-seconds, a DIY approach where the photographer tries to release a droplet and take an image at the same time manually, normally results in hundreds of shots ending up as misses (as they are either captured too early or late), before ever a single frame is timed correctly. Stacking the hit-ratio much more in the photographer’s favor, and enabling fine-tuned control of drop size and timings for more dramatic results, is the MIOPS SPLASH – Water Drop Kit.



Controls every drop and your equipment with a great precision.


Smartphone controllable, the stand-alone MIOPS SPLASH – Water Drop Kit is designed to make taking precision droplet images a breeze for everyone. The compact unit consists of a fixed tank for your chosen liquid, an adjusting valve, and a control box. Gone are those complex droplet rigs that were deemed essential in only the last few years, took up lots of space, and were prone to error previously used. Connected wirelessly via Bluetooth, photographers can utilize the MIOPS Mobile app on their smartphone to select the size of every individual droplet released by the MIOPS SPLASH, and the timing between each of them. This makes more advanced droplet effects like crowns, mushrooms, pillars and collisions not only possible to create, but to replicate time-and-time again. Want that last droplet to appear slightly higher in your image? Just increase its delay slightly. Think slightly larger droplets would be more impressive? Just increase their size within the app. It really is that simple.

water drop

Taken by Andrea Laybauer using MIOPS SPLASH

The MIOPS SPLASH can be set up to activate a flashgun during a long exposure image to freeze droplets at the perfect moment, the camera’s shutter (with the right camera cable attached), or both. This means you can produce the results you want without restrictions as to how you go about getting them. Connection to the device is via the standard PC Sync input found on most flashguns (a cable is included in-box), while MIOPS also stock a hot-shoe adaptor that features one for devices that don’t have an inbuilt input. Unlike some rival systems, the device requires no additional equipment, and is battery powered, removing the need to have dangerous trailing electric cables near water. Just fill up the MIOPS SPLASH, connect it to a flashgun or camera, choose your settings on a linked smartphone and get ready to start capturing droplet magic.

Through using different backgrounds, liquids, and lighting, it’s possible to produce images in a wide array of vivid colors with dramatic shadows and highlights. Setup your scene with the right angles and you may even capture a refraction of the world behind a droplet inverted within it! The possibilities for what droplet images you can produce are only limited by your imagination. Some of the best MIOPS SPLASH photographers have managed to create images with droplets within bubbles, and splash reactions taking place both above and below the water’s surface level. The key to success is just to have fun experimenting with your images. With only a minimal work area required to produce them, and no natural light needed, droplet photography is accessible for everyone. A macro lens will help you to really fill the frame with a collision, but even kit lenses can be used to capture wider droplet compositions, keeping the equipment required to produce shots at a minimum. If you’re looking for a fun side-project for a rainy day, or a subject you can capture indoors on those short winter days, this could be it!

high speed water drop

Taken by Andrea Laybauer using MIOPS SPLASH

As well as being popular as abstract art images, well-timed water droplets can also add a dynamic sense of energy to product photography shots. Just set up your SPLASH above the product, and select your settings so that you capture the perfect moment that a droplet strikes it. The dramatic explosion of water on impact can bring a dynamic sense of energy to images that may otherwise have felt dull and static. If you’re a commercial product photographer who needs a unique edge you can bring to select projects, why not try water drop shots!

If new features are added to the MIOPS SPLASH’s capabilities, updating your device’s firmware has been kept straightforward too. Through the MIOPS Mobile app, you can  “Upgrade over the air”, wirelessly using your smartphones Bluetooth connection to make the necessary changes in minutes, without having to connect the device to a computer. From start to finish, the device has been designed with intuitive operation in mind, and the MIOPS support team remain on hand at all times to help you with any queries.

water drop settings

Taken by Jos Daanen using MIOPS SPLASH

For the simplest method of keeping the MIOPS SPLASH perfectly in position during use, MIOPS also have a HOLDER KIT. This kit includes a box clip that affix’s around the MIOPS SPLASH itself, and an articulated arm, to which attaches the clip at one end and a tripod to the other. This arrangement allows users to quickly and conveniently assemble their setup for a shot, and keep everything stable, vitally important when taking macro images with a shallow depth of field, as equipment movement of just a few millimeters can mean the difference between a droplet being in or out of focus.

To see some of the fantastic droplet images taken by MIOPS SPLASH users, why not follow MIOPS on Instagram here, or Facebook here.

Related Article: 9 Amazing High-Speed Photography Ideas You Can Do with a Camera Trigger

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