How to photograph water drops.
Learn a few helpful tricks for photographing water drops and capture all the tiny, fast-paced action.
Photographing water drops takes both patience and precision. To ensure you capture the perfect image, first make sure you know how to set up the shot and choose the right camera settings.
Build your water drop photography setup.
The easiest way to photograph a water drop is to set up the shot yourself. All you need is a few simple building blocks:
- Container of water
- Water dropper
- Tripod to hold the camera still
- Camera flash (make sure it’s fast and synchronized)
- Macro lens
Once you have everything, set up the tripod to focus the camera on the water’s surface. Set your camera to continuously take pictures, either on a timer or once you click the remote shutter release. Pressing the shutter button by hand causes camera shake, which can make your photo blurry.
The best camera settings for water drop photography.
The splash from a water drop lasts only a fraction of a second, so your camera settings should be optimized for a fast shutter speed:
- Shutter speed — A 1/1000 shutter speed will freeze just about any water droplet. A slower shutter speed of around 1/250 works best for bigger splashes.
- Aperture — A wider aperture between f/4 and f/8 is ideal for a sharp focus on small drops. For bigger splashes, aim for around f/14 to keep the wider area in focus.
- ISO — Adjust your ISO to whatever it needs to be to maintain your shutter speed.
When your camera’s ready, let the water droplet fall and take a few pictures. Experiment with your setup and camera settings to find what works best.
Make adjustments with photo editing software.
Once you capture your perfect water droplet shot, upload the image to photo editors like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom to make adjustments to the color, sharpness, exposure, and more.