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Water Splash Photography Tips


11 February, 2021



Water Splash Photography Tips

Finding new and creative photography projects helps keep you interested in your hobby and improves your technical skills, which is why we love water splash photography so much.

With a little bit of practice, a few relatively inexpensive pieces of kit and some basic household items, you’ll soon be making images that will amaze your family and friends – and possibly even yourself!

What is splash photography?

Water splash photography is a technique for creating awesome abstract images that, incidentally, look great printed on canvas.

Using the high-speed flash exposure from your speedlight you can capture razor sharp images of water splashes – and with a little lateral thinking, a whole lot more!

The gear

You should be able to have a go at this project with gear that you already own (assuming that you’ve tried a little off camera flash work before).

Here’s what you need:  

Any hotshoe enabled camera
A lens with at least a 70mm focal length
One or two speedlights
Triggers and receivers or flash extension cable
A shoot through umbrella/softbox/umbrella box
A tripod and light stands
A black background or dark wall to shoot against
A small table
A glass bowl full of water
Towels!
Fruit, veg pieces, toys, etc.

The set-up

Follow these steps to get ready to shoot:  

Place your bowl of water 6-8 feet away from your dark background on your table – the further away the better.

Set your camera on a tripod near enough to the table to fill the frame with the inner edges of the bowl.

Place your umbrella and flash set-up just to the left or right of your camera. The exact position isn’t that important as long as the light is evenly hitting the bowl of water – feel free to experiment.

Place a bare flash behind the bowl 180° from the key light in the umbrella to cross light the water – you may need to snoot this light if you get some lens flare.

Put your camera in manual, ISO 100, f/8, 1/200th (or whatever your flash sync speed is).
Your key light flash should be set at about ½ power, and your backlight at 1/16th.
 
You’re now ready to play!

Making a splash…

Begin by dropping something simple like a carrot slice into the bowl a few times to get a feel for how it reacts. You don’t need to drop it from a great height – we’re not trying to create a tsunami – just high enough to produce a nice little splash. Once you’re comfortable you can try shooting those entries into the water, but be prepared for it to take a while to get the timing right!  

Shoot some images above the water line to capture just the splashes, some through the glass to capture the carrot sinking down, and others across the water line for the best of both worlds.  

You can then play around with all sorts of things. Fruit and veg work great, as do kids toys, but don’t be afraid to experiment with anything that takes your fancy.  

We hope this tutorial on water splash photography encourages you to have a go yourself – it really is loads of fun!

Tags photography tips, water shot, splashes, light


11 February, 2021

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