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  • Writer's pictureDharma

Shooting water droplets at home

Updated: May 9, 2020

I ended my previous post with a tutorial video from Adorama on photographing water droplets at home. This past weekend I had some free time and decided to give it a go.

Here are some of the results.

I'm quite happy with how the photos turned out!

If you're interested in water droplet photography, this is a fun and easy photography project that you can do at home. I followed the instructions in the tutorial quite closely - basically I used:

  • a tray with some water

  • a plastic bag suspended over the tray, which I pricked with a pin so it would drip slowly

  • my camera on a tripod

  • a flash on the opposite side of the table, facing me, and pointing towards the tray at a slight angle.

Here's my gear and camera settings:

  • Camera: Fujifilm GFX50S (You can use whatever you have because you'll be shooting at very average ISO/shutter speed/aperture settings anyway. I shot in medium format because I might print these as large artworks)

  • Lens: Zeiss 50mm Makro Planar (Again, use what you have. But if you have a macro lens, that's preferable as it will have a shorter minimum focusing distance, allowing you to get closer to the droplets)

  • Flash: Godox AD600 (You can use any off-camera flash or strobe that you have.)

  • ISO: 100

  • Aperture size: f8

  • Shutter speed: 1/125

  • Flash speed: 1/60 (if I remember right, but you can adjust this up or down to get whatever exposure level you think is right)

I eyeballed the water dripping and then timed my shots to try and catch the droplets as they hit the tray. I'm sure there are better ways of doing it but this is what I tried since it was my first attempt. Inevitably, I had a lot of missed shots of just blurry water.

Out of around 180 shots, I culled the photos down to around 10 that I liked and edited, which is about a 5.6% hit rate.

The whole process of setting up, shooting, and clearing up afterwards took me only around 2-3 hours, and I did everything at a pretty slow and leisurely pace, so I'd recommend trying this out on a nice lazy weekend while you're holed up at home.

Have fun!


If you find these tips useful, please consider sharing your photos with the community by tagging #dharmaportraits on your Instagram photos - I'd love to see how you're using these tips to create beautiful photos.

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