How to Do Water Drop Photography


Hi, I’m Adam and Welcome….to First Man Photography and welcome to the world of water drop
Photography. In today’s video I’m gonna be showing you how to shoot some
of these amazing images of water drops and everything you need
to do it. But before we get into that if you like this video please give it a thumbs up at the end
and that really helps me out and if you haven’t done so already, head
over to First Man Photography .com fill in your details and I’ll send you a
free copy of the book on how to capture exposure perfectly every time. Okay….. I’m gonna show you today two ways of
doing this. There’s going to be a basic setup that’s a lot cheaper and a lot easier to do I’m gonna move on
later to a more advanced way of doing things where you are gonna need to invest in a little bit of money in a bit more gear What are you gonna need? For basic set up to
shoot some still beautiful images you need a few
basic things and put them on the table just here the
first and most important thing obviously is the
camera So you’re going to need a camera and ideally you gonna have a macro lens. It
doesn’t have to be macro lens if you use a normal lens you are probably gonna
need to crop it fair bit to get some a similar sort of looking
image at the end I’m so it won’t be quite as good. Some
macro lenses are fairly inexpensive these days so that might be something you want to look
at. Next off….. the most important thing is we’re gonna
need is a flash. Now these can be very cheap these days if you buy them second-hand you can get them for just a few pounds of feed off eBay we’re gonna be shooting the flash in
manual mode so you don’t need if you buy one second
I’m you don’t worry about all the ETTL systems and things which usually bump
the price up. So very cheap flash will do and you’re gonna need a flash trigger as well to shoot because we’re gonna be shooting off
camera flash and we’ve got an example here of remote triggers this one attaches to the flash and this one to your
camera and one triggers the other you can also use with a wired solution
but you need to have off-camera flash. Next what can be useful is a trigger for the camera so you
don’t have to touch the camera to fire it. These are really inexpensive and a clamp stand here where we’re gonna…. our water
drops are gonna come from we’re gonna hang just these plastic bags filled
with water onto our clamp stand and the water’s gonna
come from there and its gonna fall into this bowl which, when we get set up is gonna be full of water and importantly
got towel to clean up any of the mess and very vital as well is this pen and we’re going to use up for
focusing and I’ll show you that in a minute. also i’ve got some food colouring here which
is gonna just add that extra interest to our water drops and produce some colour some beautiful colour in our images. So. Let’s get into this. I’ll get set up and we’ll go through it Okay so here we have our setup. We have our water bath setup an that’s full to the brim and it’s
inside another bowl to catch any of the overflow you want too full to the brim so you get get
that really nice infinity look in the final image. So we’ve got the camera
setup with the remote trigger on top. I’ve got it setup on a tripod which I didn’t mention earlier is not entirely necessary, becuase you can
prop it up on on the table or some books but a tripod is
really going to help you out and make your life easier. We’ve got the flash set up nice and close so it’s gonna light our image really nicely and give us a really nice, bright well exposed image . We’ve got the clamp
stand here with the water bag that’s going to provide
the drops into the water and all we need to do is take our pin and simply push a little hole into the bag and that’s gonna produce our drops okay so now we’ve got our nice drip going,
let’s talk a little bit about the camera settings it’s the flash that’s going to be
freezing the image as opposed to the shutter speed on
your camera for an explanation of why that if you go to
this is description below I describe it in a bit more detail but for the sake of the video we’ve got our
camera set at f/11 for the aperture to give
you that nice big depth of field and were quite close
in so you need a high aperture we’ve got our flash set at 1/32 power to
give you that nice quick flash to freeze the image and shutter speed is
set at 1/200 which is the sync speed for this camera and ISO is set at 400 and they are settings that have always worked really
well for me. You can experiment with your own settings or follow them for your own images. To add some extra
interest to our image i’ve produced this blue background and that’s
set up as background to our image that’s gonna add some colour and interest.
All i’ve done is printed that off with blue colour and on to a piece of paper and stuck that on to the background. So the next thing you
need to do is to focus. Now we’ve got our drip going it’s landing in the same place every
single time so all we need to do is take our pen…..and you place it into the water bath at the point where the
drop is landing. Next go over to our camera. In
manual focus we’re gonna focus on the pen. Just like that. And then when you start
dropping you gonna have a nice focus on your
drops So there we are we’re ready to shoot……. I’m gonna get
down to this level so I can see the time, get the timing right, anticipate when that
drop’s gonna fall bounce back up I’m gonna captured that shot. So let’s shoot. That’s not a bad start happy with that one Okay, we’ve got some nice shots there but I’m going
to add some colour to the water bath to the bag to produce some colour to add
a bit more interest to the images. Let’s do that now. Okay so
we’ve got our colour set up. Let’s shoot some more colors images Ok, I’m happy with that one. Okay, so we’ve got some nice images there. You
can really go to town on this and experiment yourself. You can use
different liquids like milk or oil and there’re gonna add a different
consistency to the drop and it’s going to produce interesting and
different results in your final image you can use different colours, different
colour backgrounds and really see what you can produce Okay, so let’s move on to the more
complicated setup. with the water dropper. Okay, so here we
are with our more complex set up all that’s changed is i’ve put this
electronic water dropper in place of the bag. Now this is the SplashArt 2 what it does is it produces two quick
drops that are gonna hit the water, collide and produce
that beautiful crown effect in your image. We controller with this
unit here and you can control the size of the
drops, duration between the two drops and the timing of when the camera fires
because it’s plugged into the camera and fires the camera for you so you get much more
consistent results The SplashArt 2 is produced here in
the UK and i’ll put a link down below to take you
over to the site so you guys can check it out for yourselves Okay, now let’s get to shooting and all you
need to do once you set up you you’ve got your adjustments made with your settings on the device here and you just
click the button here and it fires and produces hopefully those
really nice water drop collisions. So let’s just shoot a few.
I’m gonna get down so I can see That looked like a good one. Yep, very happy with that. to get more consistent results as well
you can put the camera into mirror lockup mode which is just going to arm the camera ready. I don’t bother though because it works quite happily without that. So as you can see, much more consistent results, really effective and a really nice device to use for getting your water drops. Ok, I hope you enjoyed that introduction to water drop photography it really is just a case of then going out, shooting some yourself and seeing what you can do. Experiment with
the lighting position the backgrounds and the different equipment that
you have or you want invest in and you really gonna get some beautiful images. There’s lots you can do in post-processing aswell to adjust things change the colours and sharpen things up which is really going to enhance your image as well. I’d love to see some of the things you are creating
so if you head over head over to Flickr upload your images and add them to the
First Man Photography group, i’ll take a look at them and then i’ll feature some in the comments
below and on social media. If you’ve enjoyed this
video please give it a thumbs up. If you
haven’t done so already, like I said at the start head over to First Man Photography .com,
fill in your details I’ll send you a copy of the ebook on how
to capture perfect exposure every time. I’m Adam, this is First Man Photography Out!


100 Responses

  1. Brian Morrison

    July 16, 2017 10:25 pm

    Hey, thank you for your help. I successfully got some good shots. I used my Tamron 100mm Macro Lens. My biggest problem was I did not have a clamp stand. I have to make something to hang my water bag on. Here are my photos on my Facebook page:

  2. Sssinhaofficial

    July 28, 2017 8:50 am

    Please Make a Tutorial for Sony alpha 68.. Basics & how to shoot These type of pics like Water drop and much more……..

  3. Wayne Arrington

    August 3, 2017 2:36 pm

    Wanted to get additional information on your water droplet mechanism. Where can it be bought? Enjoyed your presentation.

  4. Arijit Kar

    August 29, 2017 2:04 pm

    What is a macro lens?? I know its stupid askin this but jus gathered enough courage to ask it 😉

  5. Five_star_ Images

    September 21, 2017 2:54 pm

    I have a water drop kit. And I’m struggling with the delays between drops to get collisions. I’ve tried everything with no real amazing images.

  6. Kayleigh Echelon

    October 19, 2017 6:36 pm

    Hello! I have a question. For college, I am making a webpage about high-speed photography, and I was wondering if it's okay to feature this video on my webpage?
    The only person who's going to see this webpage are my fellow students and my professor, so I won't make any profit of it. I will certainly credit you as well, and have a link leading back to your page!

  7. Mike Davis

    December 11, 2017 3:08 pm

    Thank you very helpful this might help I've used these when I got started with water droplets: TRIXES 5 X Halloween Vampire Halloween Clear Blood Energy Drink Pouches and Romed Medical – Infusion Set Individually Sterile Packaged Varying Amounts – 25pcs. Both can be used over & over again and very cheap I've seen your other video on water droplets as well both very good. Well done Mike

  8. Karan Bhavsar

    January 14, 2018 6:58 am

    Thanks Adam, for such wonderful tutorial. This is what I could achieve after watching your video.

    Thanks yet again.

  9. Klara Požgaj

    March 19, 2018 1:06 pm

    Great video! I have bad flash on my camera so I was having issues….I saw this video and tryed with flash and it turned out awesome! Thank you!

  10. Varun Suchday

    April 16, 2018 5:22 pm

    That is a very helpful video. I really liked the fact that you experimented with different colors. Keep it up, looking forward to some more tutorial videos. Cheers mate

  11. Manish Verma

    May 6, 2018 5:46 pm

    thank you for the video, how about DropRobo water drop photography kit any idea please

  12. Raphael M.

    May 12, 2018 8:21 pm


    When you focus in manual mode on the pen, don't you have to press the depth-of-fiel preview button to really geht the depth of field for the given aperture?
    Best, R

  13. Menkaure Burns

    July 15, 2018 7:34 pm

    Get a bad of water and bite a small hole in it at the corner and fill the water so the camera can see it and Boom!

  14. Mick Christon

    August 18, 2018 3:33 am

    you said go out………….no need to go anywhere with this one…..thats winter evenings sorted

  15. Mike Murphy

    August 24, 2018 5:24 pm

    Thank you very much for producing this video. I want to set up a system in my college makerspace and this presentation was very helpful.

  16. Steve Smith

    October 20, 2018 12:39 am

    Great film cant wait to give it a try love close up work, wonder how corn flower drops would work. can i have a copy of your ebook in water drops?

  17. T Duncan

    November 6, 2018 8:47 pm

    Thank you so much for this video, you helped me with my homework assignment for college. Plus I love your landscape videos, I love landscape photography! I do have a question, if you use milk do you fill the bowl with milk as well or is the milk just from the dropper? Thanks 🙂

  18. Agent-OrangeCH

    January 2, 2019 6:17 pm

    Great tutorial, but I have one question. I have tried it by myself with my pluto trigger, but I always get a lot of splashes when the second drop collides with the first water drop. In your tutorials you always get a collision with no splashes.

  19. Richard Weeks

    January 6, 2019 1:37 am

    I know this is an old video and not sure you'll see this comment, but I watched this again today and just had to go out and buy some food coloring and setup a drip bag. This was the most fun I've had in some time. Awesome! Thanks for all your videos.

  20. Jacqueline Martin

    February 28, 2019 7:15 pm

    HI I really enjoyed your video. One question which may sound silly… is your camera level with the water dish or is it higher? I would have loved to see a side on shot to see the angle at which your camera was placed. Thank you 😉

  21. Markus Weber

    February 28, 2019 10:15 pm

    My pictures won't get sharp… I focus manually were the drop impacts. My aperture is about 16 Iso 100 and shutter speed 1/10… I use the Canon eos 7d mark ii and the ef 100 2.8 macro lens…

  22. tonybassplayer

    March 2, 2019 11:50 pm

    Really enjoyed that and going to give it a try. Heard you talking about it on the Photo Nerds Podcast and thought I would take a look.

  23. Jay Fisher

    March 13, 2019 5:14 pm

    Hey Adam, in case you haven't seen this… I reckon you'll like this.

  24. Charlie Rivera

    March 22, 2019 7:01 pm

    I dont see the water drop device. Can you set a link please? I will like to purchase one. Thank you

  25. Gregory Stannis

    March 23, 2019 1:01 am

    Thanks for the great tutorial……simple and to the point. I used your method and had good results on the first day. It was a little tricky trying to time the droplet splash so I just did continuous shutter releases and obtained enough pictures to select from. 👍🏻👍🏻

  26. B. Pickford

    March 30, 2019 10:06 pm

    Great video, i was able to set up and get decent shots within about an hour thanks to this. I'd be really interested in what kind of DIY techniques there are to create some more creative effects without investing in a drip kit.

  27. Beverley Trombley

    April 9, 2019 8:19 pm

    Great video. I am trying this as a school project. Do you remember what your flash settings were?

  28. Paul Chambers

    July 7, 2019 1:35 pm

    This type of interested of photography I am in 2 minds splash art 2 or pluto trigger and valve

  29. Essy Chilcutte

    July 14, 2019 6:17 pm

    I saw a kit to do this and it was about $160 on one website and 182 on another so I asked my local photography shop about ordering a kit the only thing that the kit does better than the bag is that you can control the size and speed of the drops basically you can trigger them with your camera pretty nifty but not necessary I find out

    SO WHEN i go in they tried to upsell me on a different product Fair enough ibtoo have worked in sales and it is actually a very interesting product and the photographer who designed it was actually another customer of theirs so thats pretty cool actually

    His is the
    Fotofreez kits they have multi drip options and he has some videos as well.

    I Like the idea of a Kit i can control the Drip i like the idea of multi drips

    And I do think someday i will buy vompair and possible interview the creator if possible as thats sort of what do

    However saving a couple hundred dollars and getting a used plastic lunch Bag and being able to pull this off TODAY with my New should have gotten used flash is fantasic.

    Others have suggested using a Dish towel hun over sonthing and dipping the corner so it drips

    And as i did do this in school we used a thread and a Pipette*

  30. Joseph Cole

    August 8, 2019 9:01 pm

    Adam wow you have come a looooong way with this channel. I am currently considering starting one and im looking at my favorites and where they started out for inspiration. Fantastic growth through the years keep it up!!

  31. Georgia Charakas

    August 11, 2019 3:15 am

    Some great captures especially with the quick drop timer. Thanks, I’ll look into this. I had also experimented with water drops a few years back for a project, trying different liquids including milk, orange juice, beer… lots of fun!

  32. Angela Thomas

    August 20, 2019 2:09 am

    Hi loved the video can this double water drop be done with anything else to cut the cost down please

  33. Bobcat 1967

    September 25, 2019 9:16 pm

    I've had a blast doing this but one thing is puzzling me In one of my images. I filled a large wine glass with 3/4 water and the top with vape vapour and dropped a cherry tomato through it. Makes quite a splash does a tomato but what I noticed later when I zoomed in on the drops was that there was a tiny flat looking shape, 7 soft dots of bluish light around a single brighter dot? It's hardly visible but I'm baffled. I was at f22, iso 100. Flash was 1/128. I'm leaning towards diffraction as Its the only thing I can think of but it's just a tiny spot and the rest of the image is sharp.


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