How to photograph water drops
Learn the best ways to capture the tiny, fast-paced movement of water drops.
It takes patience and precision to photograph water drops. First, you need to know how to set up your shot and select the right settings on your camera.
Set up your water drop shot
A good way to take a photograph of a water drop is to set it up yourself. You will need these tools:
- Water container
- Water dropper
- Tripod to keep the camera stable
- Flash (must be fast and synchronised)
- Macro lens
As soon as you have everything set up, adjust the tripod and point the camera’s focus to the water's surface. You can set your camera to take continuously, either by setting a timer or pressing the remote shutter release. Remote shutter is needed because pressing the shutter button by hand could cause your photo to blur due to the camera shake.
Set your camera to capture the splash
Because water drops splash for only a fraction of a second, your camera settings should be optimised for a fast shutter speed:
- Shutter speed: A 1/1000 shutter speed will freeze any water droplet. If you’re shooting large splashes, try a shutter speed of around 1/250.
- Aperture: A wide aperture between f/4 and f/8 is ideal for focusing on small drops. When shooting larger splashes, set the aperture to around f/14 to ensure the wider area remains focused.
- ISO: Adjust your ISO as necessary to maintain your shutter speed.
Once your camera is ready, take a few pictures of the water droplet falling. Play around with your set-up and camera settings to find what works best.
Make adjustments in photo editing software
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