How to Photograph Water Drops - Digital Photography School

How to Photograph Water Drops

Water-Droplets-PhotographyOne fun digital photography challenge for those with a little time on their hands (particularly on a lazy long weekend as I know many of you are on) is photographing Water Drops.

OK – so there are thousands of these on Flickr and some might say they are a little cliche – but I think they are a fun subject but also present photographers with enough of a challenge that they’ll learn something while photographing them. They are also an ideal subject for those photographers stuck inside on a cold rainy day.

I was planning on writing a full tutorial on the topic of photographing water drops but there are some good examples of this type of photography accompanied by some instructions on how the shots were taken in our forums.

Start with this thread by member snapdragon (who took the image to the left with the technique that she describes) but also check out Aperthetic’s description of their technique.

Lastly – check out this discussion forum at Flickr for lots more advice on photographing water drops.

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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

  • http://sightings.loneroad.info/ AC

    Thank you! I was waiting for an article on water droplet photography ^_^!

  • mysticeyesx

    i agree! :) hopefully i can capture some shots following these tuts.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/mainfr4me mainfr4me

    Is it just me or the title on this a little awkward?
    “How to Photography Water Drops”? I would think it would rather be “How to Photograph Water Drops”.
    Just a note! :D

  • Bro

    great topic

  • Patrick

    I did some of milk droplets:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/72252840@N00/sets/72157594505341041/

    It was a lot of fun and I did learn a lot doing it.

  • http://make-money-selling-stock-photos.blogspot.com/ La Roach

    Wow! I’ve never tried water drops before. Great idea to add to my “tickler” file when I need to jumb-start my creativity.

    Hey – stop by my blog for a visit.
    http://make-money-selling-stock-photos.blogspot.com/

  • http://edithosb.blogspot.com Sr Edith

    I’ve seen shots like this and thought they must be folks who had a lot more camera than I did. I really appreciate the insight into how this was done – especially using everyday objects. Thanks for posting it.

  • http://www.penguinfoto.com Glenn

    here is a portrait head shot in the shower which uses some external strobes to freeze the water droplets.

    http://www.penguinfoto.com/p383335169/?photo=856271189

    one of my favorites unfortunately is 18+ but for those interested you can view it from my web page.

  • Lloyd

    Thanks very much. Advice like this, with a simple setup requiring minimum specialist gear, is much appreciated. I’d like to see more of it.

  • PRH

    cliche! learning a new technique is never cliche :D

  • http://farshadplus.googlepages.com Farshad Palideh

    I did it and put a complete of “Water Drops” photo gallery on
    http://picasaweb.google.com/farshadplus/860919WaterDrops

    Let’s share our experience … :-)

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/kenmiu Ken Mau

    Thanks for the advice, and I took one earlier on when I bought the macro lens fir the first night:-)

    http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=1951565227&size=l

  • http://viaterra.net/photopages/other/macro.htm Denis

    great idea. I like this theme, you can make some really cool photos. Thanks.

    Denis

  • julitico

    great ideas I’ve got here thanks to share with us, I’ll take some photos and be posting soon

  • http://www.stuvel.eu/ Sybren

    Thanks for the inspiration! I’ve shot some water shots at http://www.flickr.com/photos/sybrenstuvel/sets/72157603783500973/

  • http://www.florian-knorn.com Florian Knorn

    Thank you so much for the inspiration!!!

    It was so much fun playing with the stuff :-)

    http://flickr.com/photos/el_floz/2214651125/in/set-72157600139820305/

  • http://farshadplus.googlepages.com Farshad Palideh

    here’s one of the most interesting of FlickR shots (Dec 11 2007)
    http://flickr.com/explore/interesting/2007/12/11/page7

    the direct link on FlickR:
    http://flickr.com/photos/97958986@N00/2104117368

  • http://picsfoo.blogspot.com picsfoo

    this is a great idea . Thanks for sharing.
    http://picsfoo.blogspot.com

  • http://edwinlouella.multiply.com Louella

    I’ve read another tutorial where the food coloring was added to the water to make it green. Thanks for posting. I’m excited to try this!

  • sarrvesh

    This shot is nice u can improve the image much more dramatic with changing the light

  • Walther

    Wonderfull picture, I just loved the simplicity of your setup, I’ll try this out! Thanks for sharing!

  • http://rienquepourlesyeux.free.fr ThierryD

    Hello
    I can speak on this post because I made a detector drops of water for SLR photography.
    This small electronic circuitry detects a falling drops of water with an infrared barrier. It can detect extremely small objects but also transparent objects like drops of water.
    The electric installation is very easy to achieve.
    All details of installation, drawing, explanations and examples of photos are available on my website:
    rienquepourlesyeux.free.fr

  • http://martinsoler.com Martin Soler HDR Photos

    I just wrapped up a cold rainy weekend and thought I would do just that. I have basically no set-up, except for a tripod and a camera. I did some food coloring falling into water. It’s quite fun, but requires lots of patience…
    http://martinsoler.com/2010/06/20/water-drop-photography/

    I wrote how I did it in my blog post.

  • http://guillaumedem.blogspot.com Guillaume

    I also gave it a try,
    and this is the result:
    http://guillaumedem.blogspot.com/2011/01/another-drop-falls-down.html
    http://guillaumedem.blogspot.com/2011/01/drop.html

    Also visit the complete blog: http://guillaumedem.blogspot.com
    Constructive criticism is always appreciated!

  • http://www.digital-camera-photography.blogspot.com Abhishek

    here are the results with a compact camera…

  • http://www.digital-camera-photography.blogspot.com Abhishek
  • http://www.great-photography-tips.com Terry

    Great info! I agree that they are fun to take. I have just done ones against a bowl of water, but against other objects (like an apple as you did) is awesome. My technique is documented at http://www.great-photography-tips.com/Photography-Tips-Water Drops.html.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.great-photography-tips.com Terry

    Opps. My last link did not work. Try http://www.great-photography-tips.com.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/briterrey/sets/72157627776488822/ Brian

    Had to have a go at this, here are a few more successful shots, take on my GF2

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/briterrey/sets/72157627776488822/ Brian

    Had to have a go at this, here are a few more successful shots, take on my GF2
    oops sry forgot to add link try this :- http://www.flickr.com/photos/briterrey/sets/72157627776488822/

  • http://www.reddandblackmedia.co.uk redd

    here is my album of rain drops…and some buildings if u look closeer in the drops

    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.322399321107933.95333.235293733151826&type=3

  • http://www.wingsofpassion.org udaybhanu moharana

    I have been learning from the web many aspects of water drop photography. I have been experimenting on this for quite some time now and being an engineer myself went on to develop a professional kit. Details and some photographs of the water drop that I have taken using the kit is posted in my website http://www.wingsofpassion.org. I am also experimenting on smoke art.
    Thanks,
    U. Moharana

  • http://www.headshotlondon.co.uk David

    These look really good in advertising. I am going to experiment and see what happens. Great photo examples. Thanks for sharing!

  • Heidi Southworth

    I’ve been taking Water Droplet photos for the last couple of years. You can see some of mine on Flickr

    and my Facebook Page Dancing Droplets

    Thanks for looking!!!

Some older comments

  • David

    December 8, 2011 06:30 am

    These look really good in advertising. I am going to experiment and see what happens. Great photo examples. Thanks for sharing!

  • udaybhanu moharana

    December 1, 2011 04:25 pm

    I have been learning from the web many aspects of water drop photography. I have been experimenting on this for quite some time now and being an engineer myself went on to develop a professional kit. Details and some photographs of the water drop that I have taken using the kit is posted in my website www.wingsofpassion.org. I am also experimenting on smoke art.
    Thanks,
    U. Moharana

  • redd

    November 24, 2011 10:51 am

    here is my album of rain drops...and some buildings if u look closeer in the drops

    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.322399321107933.95333.235293733151826&type=3

  • Brian

    September 30, 2011 09:28 am

    Had to have a go at this, here are a few more successful shots, take on my GF2
    oops sry forgot to add link try this :- http://www.flickr.com/photos/briterrey/sets/72157627776488822/

  • Brian

    September 30, 2011 09:26 am

    Had to have a go at this, here are a few more successful shots, take on my GF2

  • Terry

    August 5, 2011 12:08 pm

    Opps. My last link did not work. Try http://www.great-photography-tips.com.

  • Terry

    August 5, 2011 12:07 pm

    Great info! I agree that they are fun to take. I have just done ones against a bowl of water, but against other objects (like an apple as you did) is awesome. My technique is documented at http://www.great-photography-tips.com/Photography-Tips-Water Drops.html.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Abhishek

    June 18, 2011 03:04 pm

    here are the results with a compact camera...
    http://digital-camera-photography.blogspot.com/2011/06/water-drop-photography-point-and-shoot.html

  • Abhishek

    June 18, 2011 03:03 pm

    here are the results with a compact camera...

  • Guillaume

    January 24, 2011 12:15 am

    I also gave it a try,
    and this is the result:
    http://guillaumedem.blogspot.com/2011/01/another-drop-falls-down.html
    http://guillaumedem.blogspot.com/2011/01/drop.html

    Also visit the complete blog: http://guillaumedem.blogspot.com
    Constructive criticism is always appreciated!

  • Martin Soler HDR Photos

    June 22, 2010 03:11 am

    I just wrapped up a cold rainy weekend and thought I would do just that. I have basically no set-up, except for a tripod and a camera. I did some food coloring falling into water. It's quite fun, but requires lots of patience...
    http://martinsoler.com/2010/06/20/water-drop-photography/

    I wrote how I did it in my blog post.

  • ThierryD

    June 18, 2010 06:59 am

    Hello
    I can speak on this post because I made a detector drops of water for SLR photography.
    This small electronic circuitry detects a falling drops of water with an infrared barrier. It can detect extremely small objects but also transparent objects like drops of water.
    The electric installation is very easy to achieve.
    All details of installation, drawing, explanations and examples of photos are available on my website:
    rienquepourlesyeux.free.fr

  • Walther

    April 9, 2010 09:57 am

    Wonderfull picture, I just loved the simplicity of your setup, I'll try this out! Thanks for sharing!

  • sarrvesh

    March 28, 2008 09:57 pm

    This shot is nice u can improve the image much more dramatic with changing the light

  • Louella

    January 31, 2008 01:46 am

    I've read another tutorial where the food coloring was added to the water to make it green. Thanks for posting. I'm excited to try this!

  • picsfoo

    January 25, 2008 02:22 pm

    this is a great idea . Thanks for sharing.
    - http://picsfoo.blogspot.com

  • Farshad Palideh

    January 24, 2008 05:47 pm

    here's one of the most interesting of FlickR shots (Dec 11 2007)
    http://flickr.com/explore/interesting/2007/12/11/page7

    the direct link on FlickR:
    http://flickr.com/photos/97958986@N00/2104117368

  • Florian Knorn

    January 24, 2008 08:27 am

    Thank you so much for the inspiration!!!

    It was so much fun playing with the stuff :-)

    http://flickr.com/photos/el_floz/2214651125/in/set-72157600139820305/

  • Sybren

    January 24, 2008 07:24 am

    Thanks for the inspiration! I've shot some water shots at http://www.flickr.com/photos/sybrenstuvel/sets/72157603783500973/

  • julitico

    January 23, 2008 11:08 pm

    great ideas I've got here thanks to share with us, I'll take some photos and be posting soon

  • Denis

    January 23, 2008 09:30 pm

    great idea. I like this theme, you can make some really cool photos. Thanks.

    Denis

  • Ken Mau

    January 23, 2008 07:56 pm

    Thanks for the advice, and I took one earlier on when I bought the macro lens fir the first night:-)

    http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=1951565227&size=l

  • Farshad Palideh

    January 22, 2008 09:55 pm

    I did it and put a complete of "Water Drops" photo gallery on
    http://picasaweb.google.com/farshadplus/860919WaterDrops

    Let's share our experience ... :-)

  • PRH

    January 22, 2008 08:21 pm

    cliche! learning a new technique is never cliche :D

  • Lloyd

    January 22, 2008 07:02 pm

    Thanks very much. Advice like this, with a simple setup requiring minimum specialist gear, is much appreciated. I'd like to see more of it.

  • Glenn

    January 22, 2008 01:25 pm

    here is a portrait head shot in the shower which uses some external strobes to freeze the water droplets.

    http://www.penguinfoto.com/p383335169/?photo=856271189

    one of my favorites unfortunately is 18+ but for those interested you can view it from my web page.

  • Sr Edith

    January 22, 2008 12:26 pm

    I've seen shots like this and thought they must be folks who had a lot more camera than I did. I really appreciate the insight into how this was done - especially using everyday objects. Thanks for posting it.

  • La Roach

    January 22, 2008 11:56 am

    Wow! I've never tried water drops before. Great idea to add to my "tickler" file when I need to jumb-start my creativity.

    Hey - stop by my blog for a visit.
    http://make-money-selling-stock-photos.blogspot.com/

  • Patrick

    January 22, 2008 11:00 am

    I did some of milk droplets:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/72252840@N00/sets/72157594505341041/

    It was a lot of fun and I did learn a lot doing it.

  • Bro

    January 22, 2008 10:20 am

    great topic

  • mainfr4me

    January 22, 2008 05:42 am

    Is it just me or the title on this a little awkward?
    "How to Photography Water Drops"? I would think it would rather be "How to Photograph Water Drops".
    Just a note! :D

  • mysticeyesx

    January 22, 2008 05:28 am

    i agree! :) hopefully i can capture some shots following these tuts.

  • AC

    January 22, 2008 04:30 am

    Thank you! I was waiting for an article on water droplet photography ^_^!

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