How To Capture Incredible Water Droplet Photos

Water droplets are a lot of fun to capture, but it can be tricky to time the shot and light the scene. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get started and create your own version of this classic shot.

There are lots of photography staples I think most photographers have tried at one point or another. For example, most photographers will have tried their hands at light painting, long exposures of moving water, and street photography; they're just part and parcel of owning your first dedicated camera. Another example for many is water droplet photography, but it can be trickier than most of the other staples.

Water droplets are captured by simply setting your camera up on a tripod and dripping water into a bowl or container so that it causes a small splash. However, there are elements to this simple shot that can make it more complicated. For example, you'll need to have a fast enough shutter speed that the water won't blur as it pops up from the surface. To do this, you'll likely need some strobe or continuous lights to illuminate the scene enough to get a proper exposure. You then have the issue of timing the shots, getting the focus perfect, reflections from the lights, and so on. In this video, Jay P. Morgan of The Slanted Lens walks you through a behind-the-scenes droplet shoot, explaining what he's doing as he goes.

If you want to mix it up a little further, I have three suggestions: milk or cream instead of water, food dyes, and colored gels on the front of your lights.

Robert K Baggs's picture

Robert K Baggs is a professional portrait and commercial photographer, educator, and consultant from England. Robert has a First-Class degree in Philosophy and a Master's by Research. In 2015 Robert's work on plagiarism in photography was published as part of several universities' photography degree syllabuses.

Log in or register to post comments
1 Comment

Thanks for this! Looks like a lot of fun to try!