Photography How to Create Colorful Water Drop Photographs

Looking for ways to make more creative images without leaving your home.

Colourful water drop photography is one of the best options to do so. This article will show you how to create something stunning, with only a few simple tools.

How to Photograph Water Drops

You can use water in photography in many creative ways. Especially in your home where you can control the conditions. You can capture splashing objects, add food dye or mix it with oil.

One of the most stunning results come from using water droplets. They create little wide-angle lenses, and they pick up the background, showing the entire scene in a small area. By using many water drops, we can replicate the background over and over again.

There are plenty of ways to customise the photos. You are able to come up with an original and creative water drop photography. Feel free to experiment with drops of different liquids such as milk or water thickened by xanthan gum. Food coloring can be a game-changer too.

What You’ll Need

For now, let’s stick to the most simple version. You will need the following ingredients:

  • A bowl of coloured sweets or stones;
  • A pane of glass (table, picture frame, etc.);
  • Water;
  • Water dropper or sandwich bag with a golf tee;
  • External flashguns (optional);
  • Tripod.

Designing the Scene

First things first: we will shoot these specific water drop photographs from the top down. This means the camera will hover over the glass, which is itself above the sweets. You need to place the glass first. If you are using a table with a glass top, move it into a good position.

I was fortunate to have a glass coffee table in my house. If you’re to find something to use, I recommend the glass from a large picture frame. Resting this on some books or two chairs will do the same thing.

The first time I tried this, I used a sandwich bag with a small hole in the corner that I could use to drop the water. But using this method created an unattractive water droplet. The size and shape of the water drops have a huge influence on the overall effect and image.

How to Create Appealing Water Droplets

After a little research, I discovered a technique using a golf tee to make a much more precise drop. A golf tee will allow you to control the amount of liquid you’re using and give it a path to form a water droplet in.

I widened the hole in my bag by pushing a golf tee through it. Leaving the golf tee there, I was able to control the drops better.

After a little bit of trial and error, I was able to make more uniform drops. They created a much more accurate reflection of the shapes and colours of the sweets below.

Start with one or two drops to learn how to control the shape of a drop.

The final time, I used a water pipet and a few toothpicks. I used the pipet to pick up a small amount of water, allowing me to drop them much more precisely onto the glass. I used a toothpick to fix a drop if it was not appealing.

You can get attractive results with a medicine dropper too. I realised already after two drops how much more control I had.

Any method you choose will take a long time. One, to drop the water where you want. Two, to make it look how you want. This is a type of photography that requires a lot of patience and time. In the next image, you’ll see where we started and compared to the last picture, it is a world apart.

NB: If you set up your camera beforehand, using the right focal length and framing, you’ll see how much space you need to fill. It is a waste of time creating more water drops than you actually need.

Follow us