Splash Photography — How To Shoot A Splash Scene

Splash photography is challenging and a lot of fun. The reason – it requires some precise coordination, the results are wonderful and you are going to have a lot of fun practicing some coordination with your assistant while witnessing some funny moments. Let’s get started with this fun e-workshop.

Items Required For Splash Photography

You need 4 white acrylic sheets each of a size of 18 inches, a tripod to mount the camera, a glass, some water or a liquid of your choice, some ice-cubes and an assistant. (Of course you need a camera too – a DSLR works the best).

Setup — Preparation For Photographing Splash

Let’s spend some time arranging the perfect setup. We’ll arrange the 4 acrylic sheets in a cubicle fashion with only 3 sides and a floor. Use a cellophane tape to hold the sides together. Further we’ll use side-lighting in order to highlight the splash and the drops. So use two softboxes (if available) or two strong light to shine through the two opposite sides of our cubicle. Place the glass right in the center and fill it up three-quarters so that the brim is low enough for the splash to fly out into the air. Mount the camera on a tripod and place it safely at a distance of about 2 meters – that way the camera lens stays away from any liquid drops.

The Shot — Time To Capture The Splash

This is the fun and challenging part and needs some practice too. I remember my assistant breaking a few glasses so ask your assistant to practice dropping one ice-cube at a time right into the middle of a metal glass. Ask him to drop the ice-cube precisely as you count 3. That way you’ll make sure you get the splash when you are ready to capture it – there should be good synchronization of the action and the shutter-release. So far so good. Time to set the camera. Frame the scene first. The action is going to be so quick that your camera won’t have the chance to focus so either set your camera to manual focus and adjust the focus for the glass or use auto-focus and lock the focus waiting to capture the shot. Count three and capture the shot as the ice-cube lands on the surface of the liquid creating a splash.

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Photo credits: Mohamed Osama.

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November 20, 2011


Nice subject you opened up here. My piece of advice for others trying to create splashes: use remote shutter trigger with one hand and release the "bomb thing" with the other hand. This way you're in full control of the drop. Of course, you have to set the whole thing in advance: flash(es) intensity, camera position and don't forget to switch to manual focus mode on your lenses. Another piece of advice: press the remote trigger button half way down to lock the focus and drop the package only after you have the focus confirmation. This way your timing will be more precise. Have fun experimenting!!! Sorry about the assistant, there's no need for one, well, maybe yes, after the shooting session - to clean up the mess :)

November 15, 2011


Nice to know, thank you for sharing!

November 15, 2011


cong:) and thanks...

November 15, 2011


Thanks for sharing!!!

November 15, 2011


Thanks for your comments.

"Quite useful. How many trials you need on average to get the right shot?"

You'll need to keep trying untill you get your desired shot. You may sometimes find that the first shot is the best one but this does not mean you stop shooting. Keep shooting at least for 15-20 shots, it will help you improve your timing and will provide you with a variety of shots to choose from.

November 14, 2011


Thanks for sharing!

November 14, 2011


Quite useful. How many trials you need on average to get the right shot?

November 14, 2011


Thanks for sharing, you have great images.

November 14, 2011


useful tips and above all, fantasic portfolio...

November 14, 2011


Great pictures in your portfolio!

November 14, 2011


Thanks for the info

November 14, 2011


Your downloads per image figure of circa 4.6 suggests very high quality images......... with no rubbish shots....very well done. David.

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