Shooting dripping water

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If you like the small-amplitude motion images, let’s start shooting dripping water. What you need is a DSLR camera, a macro lens and a flashgun.

Take a more careful look at the following guide of

Step 1: Set up your in-house “studio”.

As you may know, the water and camera aren’t seemingly made for each other. So, make sure that you have a wide place to set up the equipments safely. A little dark room gives the most ideal light.

  • Flashgun: Any flashguns with the manual mode work well this job. Placing the flashgun in the hotshoe will make the light harsh, so you need a cable wire connected between the flashgun and the camera. Place it lower than the subject and shoot a plastic bag so as to diffuse the light.
  • Tripod: It’s very essential for an ideal height of your camera. A stable tripod plays an important role in shooting this image type. If the camera shake appears even slightly, your focusing points will make nonsense. 
  • Macro lens: If you have a macro lens, use the super-close focusing for more perfect effects. If you don’t have, an Extension lens is another good suggestion.
  • Remote control: A remote control of the camera via the cable may be unimportant. But, it makes you easier to choose the shooting moments and avoid unexpected camera shake while pressing the shooting button.
  • A glass and a water tray: Fill the water into a glass and a colorless tray below so as to avoid water overflowing.
  • A plastic bottle: In order for water to flow droplets, fill the water into a plastic bottle, puncture a hole at the bottom. Don’t cover the bottle so that the atmosphere go through the bottle and make the water flow more evenly. And then, fix the bottle above the glass with the distance of 25-30cm.
  • A hard color-paper: The background is very important for this image type. Use a hard paper with the dark color as a background.

shooting dripping water

Step 2: Set up DSLR

You can closely follow the setups below:

  • Flash – move to the manual mode and set up the light of 1/16th
  • Focus – Make Manual focus for the sharpest images.
  • Exposure: Use the manual mode to control the exposure.
  • Aperture – Set up the aperture of about f/22 to maximize the depth of field and avoid focusing incorrectly.
  • Drive: Use it to shoot multiple images in a second, avoid guessing time and use Single-shot.
  • Quality: Shoot RAW images for the highest quality and ease of adjusting later.

Step 3: Easy way of shooting dripping water

When you prepare fully everything, start shooting dripping water. First of all, place your camera equally to the edges of the water glass, neither too high nor too low. Remember to place the camera vertically for shooting easily.

What you need is to “freeze” the action when the water droplets splashes out with the light. It means that the metering clock in the camera is no longer important, so you should avoid the roomz full of the light.

Place the flashgun below the camera for the most beautiful effects. Then, place the hard paper as the background behind the glass. Do shooting trials to check the exposure and histogram.

shooting dripping water

Too early: Only small part of the water drop on the surface

shooting dripping water

Start shooting here: The water droplet touches the glass, emerges like a pillar. Start the continuous shooting here for the most perfect photos.

shooting dripping water

Great! At the moment of the tension of the water interacts with the gravity creates such interesting symmetrical images.

shooting dripping water

Too late: Part of the water droplet has sunk after a small part of second. But, it’s a beautiful moment.

Read more in-depth: blue hour photography

Check out some images of this type:

shooting dripping watershooting dripping water

shooting dripping water

shooting dripping water

shooting dripping water

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