Have you ever tried to do water drop photography? Do you think that you have the equipment to be successful in this method of taking photos? Are experiences or skills necessary to be good at it? What are the ways to capture the best water drop images? This article will help you answer these questions.
In definition, Water Drop Photography is a method of photography that focuses on water (or any liquid) as the subject. In particular, the subject is in the form of drops or droplets and their resulting splashes that come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Usually, the output of your photos can appear fascinating and abstract, like artworks as unique as water sculptures.
Watch this cool video from Academy of Photography to see how water drop photography works.
To get started, remember the following tips to capture stunning water drop photography images.
1. Prepare the basic materials and equipment.
Even if the images in water drop photos look stunning and intimidating, you can still be good at it even with basic camera equipment. Of course, you’ll need a DSLR camera that has Manual Settings. Flashguns are not just essential in water drop photography – they are a must. A good and stable tripod is another item that is very usual. For the type of lens, a basic lens kit can do the trick but Macro Lens is the most recommended. Another amazing and important device that even beginners can use is a water drop photography kit.
The rest of the materials are, of course, your basin/ or a dish to hold the water (shiny or even reflective containers give out the best results). You can use droppers or other containers for dripping to conduct the water drop. Glass dish is also great, especially with colorful pieces of paper or card as a background. Lastly, you’ll need your primary medium: water, clear, colored, or even a combination of both.
Make sure the materials are thoroughly cleaned and are free from dust, smudges, and residue. You’ll need clear and clean shots, so don’t forget this step.
2. Observe the right Framing and Composition.
Make sure that the entire water drop event fit on the frame. While the composition is important in any method in photography, just making sure that the water drop is focused and in the frame is already a good start. You can easily crop the image later for a better composition. Your backdrop should also be captured in the shot for a more complete look.
3. Adjust the Camera Mode and Lens Focus.
As mentioned earlier, your camera should be on Manual Mode. A Macro lens is ideal so that you can easily get the right point of Focus for every shot.
Here, your camera’s focus should be on the point where the water drop will meet with the surface of the water contained on the dish. You can find this specific location by doing test drops or can also dip your finger into the still water.
4. Be mindful of your Shutter Speed and Aperture.
Adjust your camera’s shutter speed (faster trigger speed) as well as its aperture value (recommended is f4-f5). This setup will help you capture basic water drop shots and water sculpture scenario. However, did you know that you can do more than that with a water drop photography trigger kit?
A camera trigger device can give you more variety and uniqueness in every water drop image you capture. Timing is everything if you want to achieve that – and only a camera trigger unit can deliver a well-timed image. Aside from the delay timer, you’ll have a reliable trigger sensor at your disposal.
5. Prepare your External Flash Units.
The room should be dark in water drop photography and your only source of light is your camera’s flash (and other external flash units, depending on the type of shot you want). But how can you know if you’ll get the timing right?
With a trigger unit attached to your camera (or even connected to an external flash), this is easy. This is because trigger units have a sensitive sensor that is capable of detecting the tiniest drop of water during the event. It activates your flash and your camera to perfectly take that well-timed photo in a millisecond speed.
6. Experiment and be creative with your Shots.
The possibilities are endless! The good thing about this method of photography is that there will be no wasted materials– just missed opportunities. So make sure that you let your creativity soar high.
A. Water Drops
Water is the primary medium in water drop photography, but it doesn’t mean you can’t experiment. There are different types of liquids (fruit juices, soda, colored water, milk, to name a few) with varying colors that you can choose from. Additionally, instead of just focusing on one droplet, why not experiment on different movements and motion? For instance, you can drop one liquid into another droplet, or try dripping several droplets in a millisecond interval?
It does not even have to be just drops or droplets. How about with a free-flowing stream of water falling freely and continuously into the dish?
B. Resulting Splashes
The water splashes don’t have to be identical for all your shots. Create differently sculptured water splashes and drops by experimenting with your timing, drop intervals, and even the type and color of your background.
7. Choose the right Container/ Water Dish.
The texture and the reflective characteristics of your container can also make a difference. Additionally, try out other water holders like glass ashtray, spoon, a simple reflective surface like the surface of a table, to name a few.
The water depth on your container is also a factor in achieving different types of splashes and droplets. Crown-shaped splashes can be achieved using shallow containers. Deep containers can produce taller splashes.
8. Add other elements to achieve unique photos.
Aside from experimenting on multiple drops instead of just one drop, adding more elements to your shots can also be an option. Instead of a water dropping from a container to a dish, you can use solid objects with interesting shapes. This can create more variation and uniqueness to the splashes created during the shot.
9. Remember the importance of the Background Color and Texture.
Since the focus of your camera lens is on the resulting water drop and splashes, your background will be blurred out. However, it does not mean that choosing your color and texture for the background won’t matter.
Water reflects the color (and the texture) of your background. This method can result in more unique and more abstract images.
Whether you’re an amateur or a professional, water drop photography will welcome you with the most fascinating and mesmerizing images in every click of the shutter. Hopefully, this article has helped you get started in this unique photography method. Good luck!
Related Article: Discover The Simplest Way to Produce Professional Droplet Images
Photo Credits: David Chester, Thierry Finou