Project #09 - Water Drop Photography

Another stuck at home idea for those who want to try something creative in the comfort of your own home. This should be something that you can easily put together with stuff that you already have, so lets go through it!

Equipment & Setup

In order to take your water drop photos, you will need your usual camera and lens, tripod and flashes (preferably 2, but 1 would still work). In terms of lens, I used the my macro lens to make sure I can fill the frame as much as possible but you can probably do with any lens that you have got. I would recommend using a longer focal length as it would allow you to have a narrower field of view. 

I have set up my shot as follow

The flashes are set up on both side of the water as above and they are firing towards the backdrop to get the colour in the photo. You can create a colourful image by choosing a colourful backdrop. I have used 2 flashes to get a well lit and balanced image but one will definitely suffice. 

The water drop is coming from a bag as you can see above and you can get the water dripping down by poking a tiny hole at the bottom. The size of the hole will dictate the drip size and also the frequency of the water droplets, so I recommend starting with a small hole and increase the size if needed. 

Settings & Shootings

Once you have set up you scene, all you need to do is to get the composition that you want and the focus right. You will most likely be at a close focusing distance due the small size of a water drop, so depth of field will definitely be a problem, it will be a fine tuning process to get the right aperture for you camera and lens combo. For you reference, my shots are taken at ISO100 with 1/320 sec shutter speed (due to camera sync speed) and at f/32 which gives me a bit more depth of field to work with. Both flashes are on 1/16 power (TTL should also work but if you are using manual flashes, don't forget to increase the power output when you are closing down the aperture). 

Once you have get the settings and lighting sorted, then all you need to focus on (pun intended) is the water drop. Getting sharp focus is very important for this type of photography and you can fine tune it once you start shooting. A handy tip is not to hang the bag too high as that will lead to more variation on where the water drops will fall. It will probably takes lots and lots of photos to get the one that you like and if you can get the frequency just right, you might be able to get a shot of two droplets colliding like this. 

Post Processing

There are plenty of post processing you can do with these photos, but I will just go through some basic ones that I think we can all handle pretty easily. 

As you can see, my backdrop was yellow but my pictures are blue and that's all down to post processing. Change the white balance allow you to easily manipulate the colours. I have chosen to use a plain colour backdrop because it was easy to find and it allows me to change colour very easily. As you can see, getting the lighting right in the first place makes post processing a lot easier. You can see my specific edits in the above picture which maybe able to give you a starting point but it is important to note that every photo should be edited individually so you will have to play around to get it to your liking. 

Final thoughts

Stuck at home doesn't mean that you can't create interesting images and I hope this will inspire you to go and shoot some great photos.

Thank you for reading and feel free to drop me a comment if you any questions. As always, please check out my portfolio if you want to see more, you can also find previous blog posts here. If you enjoy my photos, you can check out the online store too! Also, if you have any suggestions on what you want me to shoot next, feel free to leave a comment below and I will show you how I do it. 

Until next time!