How to Get Started in Water Drop Photography

Updated: Apr 17, 2021

It's always fun learning a new photography skill and water drop photography is definitely an interesting subject. No two drops - or images - are the same.

Teaching us about water drop photography is passionate macro photographer, Sue Holte-Smith.

Whilst water drop photography is very new to Sue, she has still managed to get some great shots.

As she skimmed through her 100's of photography magazines, Sue found an old article about macro photography ideas that she'd circled as a reminder to herself to give it a go. One of the ideas were water drop art.

"One of my Christmas presents was the MIOPS Splash Kit - Santa must have heard me talking about it."

The MIOPS Splash Kit, which is an entry level drop kit, allows Sue to control drops, size, delays, triggers, and more.

Sue highly recommends a good macro lens, a tripod, and an off-camera flash.

Thinking it would be an easy task, Sue actually found it a bit tricky to get the settings right.

Sue learned that by changing the settings, she could create different types of drops.

For a successful shoot, Sue uses a deep bowl "that you can fill to the brim with water", a large dish to place underneath in case of spillage, and lots of kitchen roll! She also uses a white board for her background.

Sue also recommends a lot of patience. "Water drop photography can be both fun and extremely frustrating."

With her large bowl and spillage dish ready, Sue sets up her MIOPS, pouring in a mix of water and food colouring.

"To get the colours is a combination."

Sue also uses a gel (colour to compliment the food colouring) on a speed-light, and a white plexiglass to bounce the light, creating a smooth water effect.

"I started with my shutter speed at 1/250 but found putting the camera in bulb mode works better. ISO is 100 to avoid noise and I use between F14-F16."

All that's left is to make sure manual mode is on, focus the camera, and take the shot. Sue uses a wooden spoon to act as the waterdrops to focus.

Whilst Sue is already taking some amazing photos with her MIOPS set up, she hopes to get a more advanced system in the future and take her water drop photography to another level.


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