Water Drop Photography Tutorial

Last Updated on January 23, 2022

Water Drop Tutorial

One of the secrets underlying good close-up photography is avoiding unwanted highlights intruding on the image. These usually appear as insignificant out-of-focus bright spots when you frame the shot, but in the final image, they can appear far more prominent and be very distracting.

To take the shot, I move slowly around the subject, watching the LCD screen continually, and released the shutter only when the brightest area was positioned just as I wanted.

Read more: Macro Photography: A Complete Guide

Simple subjects

Learning just what to include and what to leave out of a picture is a useful skill to master – not only is the image itself usually stronger for being simpler in visual content, but it is also often easier to use it for a range of purposes, such as compositing.
Subject movement is always a problem with close-up especially plants outdoors where they can be affected by even the slightest breeze.

How to do Water Drop

Welcome to the world of water drop photography. In this video, we show you how to capture water drops using a basic set up and a more complex setup using the SplashArt 2 dropper system.

I first started shooting water drop photography a few years ago when I noticed a few popping up on Flickr. I was instantly struck by these amazing moments of nature that we see so often in our lives but never have the chance to study.

Fascinated, I decided to see what it took to capture these images and I felt I could produce something original using my own lighting ideas and composition.

Water Drop Photography Tutorial

Water Drop Photography Tutorial-Tips

Water Drop Photography Tutorial-Tips

Having set up, using something very close to the basic setting featured in the video, my first capture of a water drop was extremely satisfying. I quickly upgraded my equipment and bought the SplashArt 2 kit so I could produce and capture water drop collisions repeatedly.

Once in the arsenal, it left me more time to play with my lighting setup, composition and drop consistency. In water drop, photography changing the consistency of the liquid has a direct result on the final image.

Milk is slightly thicker so behaves differently and the different surface tension produces different looking drops.

I eventually took this to an extreme adding Xanthan Gum to my liquid. This thickens and smooths the liquid to the point where the final drops have a crystal-like appearance.

Water Drop Photography Tutorial Settings

Water Drop Photography Tutorial

Water Drop Photography

Understanding the theory of water drop photography is key to giving you the ability to fully explore the creative possibilities. Normally we freeze action by increasing shutter speed and this works perfectly in most conditions. In water drop photography the action is frozen with the flash.

When using flash to light a scene the shutter speed is limited by the flash sync speed of your camera. On most DSLR’s this limits you to about 1/200th or 1/250th second which is not quick enough to freeze a water drop.

The flash burst is much faster than this so it exposes the scene so quickly that it freezes the action. Speedlite flashguns discharge their light faster at lower powers so the lower the power you can manage to use the better your image will be frozen.

After some experimentation, I settled on using 1/32 flash power. The shutter speed does not really matter but I set it at 1/200 to avoid any ambient light sneaking into the image.

Aperture needs to be as high as possible to ensure all the drop is in sharp focus but needs to be balanced with ISO to obtain a well-exposed image that is not too noisy. The majority of my shots have used f/11 and an ISO of around 400.

Water Drop Photography Tutorial Photos

Water Drop Photography Tutorial

Water Drop Tips

Hopefully, this will arm you with the skills and knowledge required to start shooting your own images. To move things on further you can add extra flash guns and multiple droppers to ensure that every image will be unique.

How to photograph a splash of water

By- Gavin Hoey


By- Visual Art Photography Tutorials

In this macro photography tutorial, join Ray Scott for an intriguing and inspirational look at Macro Photography. Using refraction, often confused with reflection, can be a lot of fun and often flowers are used as subjects to capture in water drops. Different subjects are used to create unique photos. Along with that, Ray offers 5 tips that you can add to your macro photography workflow.

Water Drop Photography Tutorial Photos

Of course, all of this is done using a tripod so as to achieve maximum sharpness and clarity. Whether you are just beginning in photography or are an advanced amateur or professional. This video should open up a few photographic possibilities for you.

Ray Scott takes you through all the steps to create stunning, surreal abstract images without the use of Photoshop or any other processing software. Using a tripod is recommended as well as a macro lens. Enjoy hours of photographing right in your home with this imaginative project.

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