This week has been gray, drizzly and dreary around these parts. Normally it would mean that I would be stuck inside with nothing fun to capture. But I didn’t let a little rain stop me. I braved the rain drops and was on the hunt for some fun water droplets. There were plenty to choose from! Photographing water droplets is a fun way to capture natural motion. Today, I’m going to share with you eight tips to help you photograph water droplets.

how to photograph water droplets

Water Droplet Tip #1  - Auto-Focus Mode

When I first started, I was having trouble focusing on the water droplet. I realized my auto-focus mode was set to Dynamic area. This is what I normally keep my auto-focus mode set to when I’m photographing people. But, I found the single point setting worked a lot better when photographing water droplets.

Water Droplet Tip #2 – Hold Still

When capturing water droplets, you need to make sure your camera is very still. You may need to use a tripod to help cut down on camera shake. I don’t own a tripod {I really should!} so I instead used my deck railing to keep my camera steady. If you’re like me and you don’t have a tripod, any flat surface will do.

tips and tricks for photographing water droplets

Water Droplet Tip #3 – Use Macro Setting

If you’re having difficulty getting a crisp water droplet, try using your Macro setting (this is what we discussed when we photographed flowers). This will help your focus on the composition of your photo. My suggestion would be to take a few shots on Macro to see what settings the camera is picking. Write those down and then try to achieve the same settings in Manual.

Water Droplet Tip #4 – Back Up

If you’re using a prime lens, you may need to back up. I know this sounds silly since you are trying to get an up-close photo of the water droplet. However, your camera may have a hard time focusing on the object when you’re too close. And remember, you can always crop your photo later when post-processing. Getting up close also helps with the sharpness of the droplet.

7 tips for photography water droplets #photography

Water Droplet Tip #5 – Manual Focus

For a few of my droplets, I had to use my manual focus because the camera wasn’t focusing well. This can happen when you are trying to take a side view of the droplet. It may be too narrow for the camera to focus. Manual focus can be a little tricky, especially if your eyes aren’t too great. Manual focus is trial and error but can result in sharp water droplets.

Water Droplet Tip #6 – Use a Fast Shutter Speed

You are going to need a fast shutter speed to capture falling water droplets. You should set your shutter speed to at least  1/250 second or higher.

how to photograph water droplets

Water Droplet Tip # 7 – Use a Small Aperture

Any aperture from f/ 11 to 20 is useful for getting even sharpness in your water droplets. Remember if you are going to use a small aperture you need plenty of sunlight or bright shade. If you do use a larger aperture, like f/ 2.8, you will get a dreamy image with a smaller focus area and some great bokeh.

Water Droplet Tip #8 – Make Your Own Droplets

I hear you over there saying “But I don’t have any droplets to photograph!” You don’t need rain to get some pretty water droplets. You can place your own droplets on leaves or flowers {or anything!} with a syringe. Add a little bit of sugar to the water. This will help the drops attach themselves more firmly on your surface. Or run your faucet for a minute. Or have some water run across your kitchen counter onto the floor. Shoot the water in action. As you can see, there are many ways you can capture water droplets even if it’s not raining!

how to photograph water droplets

 We had a lot of fun photographing water a few weeks ago. This week, we are going to zoom in a little closer and capture the droplets. Your challenge is to get out there and find some water droplets or make some of your own if you don’t have any! Don’t forget to share!

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