How to Create Cool Water Drop Photography
Waterdrop Photography is one of my favorite creative photography techniques. It is fun and easy, and the final photos are always unique.
You might think water drop photography is only for advanced photographers. How could you freeze the moment without any special gear? We’ll show you the trick!
In this article, we present you with a way to create amazing water drop photographs, step-by-step. The best news is that you don’t need a lot of equipment. You can even do this in your kitchen!
What You Need for Water Drop Photography
- Camera and tripod
- External flash(es)
- A telephoto lens, optionally a macro lens
- Large mixing bowl
- Food dye
- Medicine dropper or another tool to drop water.
Remember, you don’t need to have the most expensive equipment to start the creative process. The essential factors are setting up your gear and lots of practice.
Get the Scene Ready for Water Drop Photography
Find a location for your creative photography. Your kitchen or bathroom are ideal places. You cannot avoid one or two splashes of water ending up outside the bowl. A place where you can quickly clean up will make this shoot more fun.
Fill the mixing bowl with water almost completely. Add a few drops of milk to cloud the water. There are two reasons for this.
First, milky water absorbs light better than clear water. This allows you to use your flash on a low power setting and only light up your water drop.
Also, a non-transparent liquid will provide a more uniform, pleasing background. The viewer’s eyes will inadvertently jump to the droplets, and not be distracted by a messy background.
You can also add some guar gum or xanthan gum to improve the consistency of the water. Guar gum is great for thickening the water but might leave lumps in the liquid. You get better results with xanthan gum, but the additives are optional.
After the milk, add some food dye to the bowl to create a unique, colourful background. Don’t add anything to the water you’re going to drop – yet.
Once you’re done with the setup, you can use different colours for the water in your bowl and the dropped liquid. This will create an exciting contrast. Read our article on colour contrast if you need help selecting colours.
To drop the liquid, you can use a dropper or a glass jar with a tap on it. The latter lets you control the flow. Also, with a tap, your hands can be free, allowing you to concentrate on shooting.
When dropping the liquid, aim for the closest part of the bowl to the camera. This way, you’ll be able to only include the water and drop itself in the frame. Without background, such as the bowl.
Position Your Camera and Choose Your Lens
Position your camera on the tripod and find the ideal angle to capture drops.
Aim it so the spot where the drops arrive is in the lower part of the frame. You’ll need plenty of space above to capture droplets in their flying state.
As for lenses, you can do water drop photography with a basic 18-55mm kit lens, but make sure you zoom all the way in.
With a tight field of view, you can photograph only the part where your water drops arrive. Distracting background elements won’t be included.