Water Photography

Water Photography Tips: All You Need to Know about Water Photography

One of the coolest types of photography is water photography. You can use a variety of techniques with a tripod stand, using different kinds of shutter speeds (high shutter speed or low shutter speed), using different apertures, NDF, and much more to create some of the most beautiful images!

Water is probably not far away if you’re searching for a peaceful break from ordinary life — from a family day at the beach to a country walk along a flowing river, or maybe water at your place can get you some of the best shots.

Whether it’s a crashing wave, the misty haze of a waterfall’s spray, or the reflections in a still lake, water droplets, underwater photographs, you cannot say ‘No’ to amazing clicks. There are numerous innovative ideas, tips, and tricks available in this guide to improve your water photography skills.

Whether you’re touring in the summer or looking for subjects closer to home during the winter, these water-photography ideas and techniques can help you take your photographs to the next level.

water bubbles
Water Photography

Water photography can be scary, but it’s not quite as difficult as it appears. It is a straightforward method. You must utilize the appropriate equipment and practice the most effective tactics. This is where today’s Water Photography tutorial comes in. 

Let’s go over the top ideas and tips for taking stunning water photography.

A suggested read: Creative Photography Tips & Tricks 

7 Water Photography Tips for Everyone

Before you start thinking about how to capture water, you need to have a specific look in mind. Each technique has its own set of difficulties. Finding the right light, the right shutter speed (high shutter speed or low shutter speed), to use the flash or not are a few of the most difficult tasks when it comes to water photography.

Let’s talk about how you can get the shot of your dreams.

1. Decide your subject:

This doesn’t have to be a difficult step. Your objective is to discover something that goes well with the water and tells a good tale.

You can include persons or things in your composition, for example. This will add depth to your images and give people more to look at when they look at them.

You can find a suitable location where there are woods, greens or iced mountains and of course water too. 

The photographer used the wooden boat to achieve reflection in the scene above. The water isn’t the image’s major focus, but it does add to the overall aesthetic.

The group of iced mountains and the wooden boat serve as the focal point, and they stand out even more when surrounded by smooth water.

2. Save your equipment: 

To avoid damaging your equipment or becoming distracted, find a suitable location.

After you’ve decided on your favorite subject, you may begin exploring suitable venues.

Check to see if the place is secure and has enough space. The more space you have, the more opportunities you’ll have to capture water from unusual angles. Keep an eye out for visitors, drones, and anything else that could obstruct your path.

Keep in mind that the weather can change at any time. The majority of smooth water photographs are captured on calm days. On a windy day, if you’re photographing a waterfall, the water may end up harming your camera.

3. To get that soft misty effect, use a slow shutter speed:

When taking soft photographs, there are two things to keep in mind:

A. Shutter Speeds:

The slower the shutter speed, the silkier the water will appear. Since every photographer has their own taste, you should experiment with different shutter speeds.

B. Aperture:

A wide aperture (e.g. f/1.2) produces more blur in the background and foreground. For close-ups, this is ideal. More details are captured when the aperture is tiny (e.g. f/16). This is perfect for shots of landscapes.

4. Neutral Density Filter has got your back:

Every landscape photographer’s best friend is a neutral density filter (or ND filter).

Underexposure and overexposure are avoided using this filter. Even if it’s a bright day, your images will come out looking well-lit and neutral.

Long exposure water photography necessitates the use of ND filters. Your shots may appear overexposed as a result of all the movement and reflections.

A must read: Beach Photography - Tips & Tricks

In comparison to its surroundings, the water may appear overly drab or vivid. ND filters rapidly correct this.

5. Use a Tripod and a Remote:

The majority of water photography focuses solely on the movement of water and clouds.

Your image will appear abstract if it is completely blurred. There’s nothing wrong with this, but if you want conventional landscape water photography, it’s not the best option.

Use a tripod and a remote to keep your images stable. You can take images without touching your camera if you use a remote. This will stop any needless motions from taking place.

You can use a timer instead of a remote if you don’t want to spend the money on one.

Before we go ahead, go to GoSocial and create your profile to host workshops in your niche, as well as connect with a large number of like-minded artists. Click here to know more.

6. Diverse perspectives:

There are millions, if not billions, of photographs of silky water online. You must think outside the box if you want your images to appear unique.

This necessitates testing with various angles. Take pictures of water in unusual ways. Disobey the rules. The more out-of-the-box ideas you use, the more interesting your images will be.

The illustration above is a great example of creative thinking. The majority of long-exposure photos are expansive and ethereal. Close-ups aren’t as common as they formerly were.

The movement of the water and leaves are the focal points of the shot above. It’s an original example of water photography because of the composition and colors.

7. Reflections on Water Bodies:

Long exposure photography makes it difficult to acquire accurate reflections. Your reflection will almost certainly be missed in the shuffle. It will appear vague and hazy as a result of this.

You should use a faster shutter speed if you want to capture crisper reflections in the water. A tripod isn’t required, although it can help you shoot crisper images.

7 Water Photography Ideas You Need To Try ASAP!

Taking water photographs is simple and enjoyable if you are aware of the know-how. Here are some of my best ideas for taking beautiful water shots to help you get the most out of your water photography.

1. Photographing water droplets:

Water droplet photography is the most well-known subgenre of high-speed (high shutter-speed) photography. This is a popular technique that you can try at home.

You’ll capture water droplets falling into a tub of water in this type of macro photography. When using the technique in conjunction with off-camera flash, the best results are obtained.

You’ll also need a fast shutter speed, such as 1/1000 or faster, to freeze a water droplet in the air. To protect your goods from water damage, I strongly recommend using cellophane wrap.

Also read: How to Learn Photography Online?

2. Landscape water photography with a long exposure: 

For quite some time, long exposure photography has been one of the most popular types of photography among landscape photographers. 

Take a trip to the beach or a nearby river and see what you can come up with! If you want to do this, you’ll need a tripod and a good ND filter.

A must read: A comprehensive Guide on Long Exposure Photography

The following commands will help you get amazing water photographers:

A. Capture motion

Water movement can be captured with exposures ranging from 1/2 to one second. Waves crashing against the shore, for example.

B. Silk water

Using exposures of one to two seconds, water falling over a waterfall can be made to look like silk.

C. Flat seascapes

If you want the ocean to be flat, you’ll need to expose for 10 seconds or longer.

This is a fantastic approach to capturing stunning images, especially when photographing a rocky coastline. However, take precautions to protect yourself and your camera equipment in these places, as accidents can occur. Find out the tide times along the coast so you don’t get caught in the rising sea.

Read also: How to Master Travel Photography

Another idea is to wait 30 minutes before starting to picture the waves. Waves usually arrive in cycles, with one cycle containing a series of substantially greater waves. Before you get too close to the water’s edge, you need to know where the force of these larger waves will hit.

3. Objects that are frozen

Freezing items is an interesting approach to presenting an inanimate object uniquely while taking still life water-photography shots. Because ice is clear, you can see your object inside it, although proper lighting is required to bring the photo to life.

Frozen Flower

Once your object is frozen in ice, backlight it with a light source such as a spotlight or a strobe. This works well for a variety of products, such as flowers and fruits. Anything found in the water, such as fish or seashells, would be particularly interesting too. 

Also read: Home Photography Ideas

Freeze flowers/fruits to capture their delicate and fleeting beauty. Use only pure water and cube trays that can be frozen. To keep the object inside the ice from drifting, first weigh them down (which they significantly want to do). Then, as they melt away, remove them from the container and capture the entire scene.

Frozen fruits

Of course, you may picture ice in nature in the winter; icicles and ice waterfalls are also beautiful.

Ice in nature
icicles

4. Taking pictures in the rain

Most photographers will avoid photographing in the rain because they are afraid their camera may damage. This is a genuine issue, but with the proper safeguards, some incredible photographs may be taken. You may buy numerous methods for covering your camera from the rain, or you can use a basic plastic bag and rubber band.

Rain can lend a lot of atmosphere to a scene, and umbrella-wielding people are a classic image. 

Try photographing against the light to pick up the rain, and the rain pouring from the sky will give your photo more intensity.

5. Oil and water:

Use the fact that oil and water don’t mix to generate distinctive abstract photographic themes. The secret to accentuating the water droplets is to add a washing-up liquid before the oil. Keep in mind that your photographs will seem much better with a bright background.

It’s time to combine some opposites back in your home laboratory. Follow these procedures to make a series of oil and water photographs.

  1. In a glass container with a clear translucent base, combine the water and oil.
  1. Create a bridge between the container and a surface by using two piles of books as supports.
  1. The oil will erupt in a big bubble and will not dissolve in the water. Add liquid soap to the solution to make smaller oil bubbles.
  1. Add your backdrop image below the glass container to give your shot some color.
  1. Focus a macro lens on a small area of oil; the more circular shapes, the better.
  1. Use a powerful floodlight or a strobe connected to your camera by a radio trigger. This will be the source of light for your photograph.

6. Using water photography to make a splash:

Water can, of course, look amazing when it collides with something, or when something collides with it. To capture and freeze the action of the splash, a fast shutter speed is required. With splash water photography, there are a few popular techniques to attempt.

Suggested read: Websites to Sell Your Photographs Online

A. Drop an object into the water

Another variation on still life photography is to drop objects into the water. A strobe is used to catch the event, and objects are frequently thrown into a fish tank or a wine glass.

B. Play with your hair

Playing with your hair on the beach may be a lot of fun. The goal is to submerge your head in the water and then toss your hair back (or get a model to do so for you). The water droplets that result can now be shot since they are more visible against the light (with backlighting).

3. Hurl water at an object

In this game, you choose an object or even a person to throw water at. If you can capture the moment of impact, you might get a good shot. This looks best when the water is lit up with strobes.

7. Underwater photography:

You may totally immerse yourself in this specialist area of water photography! Underwater photography isn’t cheap, and you’ll need pricey housing for your DSLR that also houses a light source that can be transported down to the ocean floor to produce professional results.

Photographing a model underwater can be a lot of fun if you have the right equipment.

Here are a few underwater photography tips you MUST read before diving into the sea👇

A. Safety: 

Your primary priority should be safety. Don’t swim, snorkel, or SCUBA dive in risky regions or beyond your ability.

B. The best lens: 

A wide-angle lens is the best option. Shooting through water is a difficult task. You’ll lose contrast and color if you’re shooting through a lot of water with a telephoto lens. You’ll get more vibrant photos if you use a wide-angle lens close to the surface.

C. Try hands on Digital Photography: 

Digital photography allows you to verify your exposure on the camera’s LCD, which is useful because underwater-photography exposures differ from those on land. If your camera has an exposure bracketing feature, turn it on so you don’t have to worry about changing exposures in the middle of a shot.

D. Use Underwater Scene Mode:

Use the Underwater Scene Mode on your waterproof camera to improve the contrast and color saturation while disabling the flash when taking underwater photos. Underwater, you don’t want to use flash since it will illuminate the tiny floating particles in the water between your camera’s lens and your subject. 

Backscatter is the term for this. If you’re shooting with a DSLR or mirrorless camera in an underwater housing, you can utilize underwater strobes mounted on arms to the side of the camera to illuminate only the subject and not the Backscatter.

E. Post-Production makes it lively: 

Because photographing underwater often results in a loss of contrast and/or color saturation, you’ll almost certainly be enhancing contrast and/or color saturation in post-production on the computer.

And that’s a wrap!

Hope you enjoyed this blog. Since 2022 is around the corner, it’s time for you to pack your bags, charge your camera and get going on an amazing trip to use these water photography tips and tricks.

And before we wrap this up, two most important things:


1. We at GoSocial can assist you in hosting workshops related to your interests. Not only that, but you may create and join communities of your choice to interact with other talented creators. So, what do you have to lose? Visit GoSocial to learn more about us.

2. Don’t forget to share your fabulous clicks with us!