Water Drops

Water Droplet PhotographyJune 22, 2012

In this tutorial I am going to show you how to take pictures of water droplets and then compile them into this final image. You will need a DSLR camera to capture these types of images.

Wet Jar

This type of photography is very easy to do however it can be tricky if you are looking to capture a specific type of water drop. Here I am just going to show you the basics of how it is done. Lets start with the setup.

Entire Setup

What You Need: (click)
-Ziplock baggy
-A Clip
-Stable place to hang water filled ziplock baggy

You will need to place your camera on a tripod. This is very important because it will keep your camera positioned in the exact same spot, prevent camera shake and blurry images. Set the object you are shooting center frame or place at whatever angle you would like to capture it from. Keep in mind that once you have your image placed and start shooting you do not want to move it! Moving the object will mess up the final outcome. You can take some test shots to see if it is being capture the way you want and then go from there.

Next you will need to hang a Zipplock baggy filled with water above the object. Once you have that positioned you may then puncture the baggy with a needle. When you puncture the baggy may shoot out streams of water instead of drips. To prevent this and make the water drip from each hole, lightly place your hand over the holes for a few seconds and then remove your hand. The water should now drip out more slowly. Poke as many holes as you want the more the better!

Make sure your baggy is filled to the top!
(Mine wasnt cuz I had been shooting some time before taking this picture)
Baggy Filled with Water

Now we need to focus on camera settings. These were what I used:
Camera Settings

SHOOTING TIPS (Always shoot MANUAL!!!)

When shooting motion pictures you will need to have a high shutter speed this will allow you to capture quick moving objects.
Since the droplets are moving fast you will want to use a continuous capture instead of a single capture. This means you only have to press the shutter button once and it will take multiple images at one time, improving your chances of catching that water drop at just the right time!
I always shoot RAW you get a much better color range and better capabilities with post editing. if you dont have a program that reads raw files (photoshop) shoot in .JPEG until the mean time.

After you get your settings right you will need to focus your lens! With your lens on autofocus snap a picture make sure it is clear and everything you want in focus is in focus and then switch your lens to manual focus. This will prevent your camera from refocusing and producing blurry images.

Manual Focus

Now you may shoot away!!! You can review your images while your camera is still on the tripod and continue shooting until you are satisfied :-)

You see how my final image that’s up top has multiple water drops? and as you were shooting Im sure you probably discovered its nearly impossible to get a great shot of a group of drops falling at once? This is where doing a little post editing in photoshop comes in handy. I will take the shots that have the best water drops and combined them into one image. Now you see why using a tripod and not moving your object was necessary? I used about 10 separate images for my final image.

Now I will show you in a few easy steps how to combined each image using photoshop. (Click steps to view images)

Step One - Select images you want to combined
Step One _ Select Images

Click image to view full size!

Step Two - Open all images in photoshop & layer images
Open Selected Images In Photoshop

I started with two images layering them one over the other.

Step 3 - Make sure you are on top layer
Select Top Layer To Erase
Make sure you have selected the layer on the top or whichever you plan to erase or blend into the other image.

Step 4 - Erase and Blend
Now you can select and remove any parts of the image you want or erase parts of the top image where you want the bottom to show through.

Step 5 - Check work and make sure combined images are seemless
Check To See If Blended
Always double check your work and make sure everything is evenly blended. These steps are very basic something any beginner can do, have fun with it!!!

Questions? Comments? Helpful tips? leave them in the comment section below. No spam please!

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