Using water droplets in photography

On a day when rain changed all my plans, I resolved to just embrace it.

I sat in my home office Monday afternoon realizing not only was the baseball game I was preparing to photograph canceled, but my original shutter in place idea was not going to work at all. Oh, and I’d just spent the morning fighting a leaky basement.

A bit annoyed, but always having loved a good rain and being fascinated by water, I thought it could be a fun and creative challenge. I searched a few photo blogs, but found inspiration on Google searching phrases such as “water droplet photography.”

I wanted to find something that could be a challenge but also be attainable by most hobby photographers who may read this.

And then I experimented and made about 250 photos you aren’t seeing here before I got to these ones I actually liked. Take that as a reminder to be patient and go easy on yourself in your creative process. It’s rarely quick and easy as you want it to be.

I’ve used the syringe my partner and I use to give our cat medicine (he’s doing great), I’ve used a spray bottle full of water and I’ve mixed water with vegetable oil (turns out motor oil doesn’t work too well) on a piece of clear plastic from a cheap picture frame to photograph colors and shapes through water.

I used my two speedlights I regularly use for work and a macro lens. But, you could use a shop light or just sun through a window and be just fine. If you have a car with a sunroof you could even just use that. I’ve made a few interesting rainy-day photos that way as well.

Really, all you need is light, color and a camera.

Fill in those blanks as you wish and I bet you’ll come out with something cool. I wasn’t so sure about this as I was doing it, but for a day of mostly gray skies and all my plans flipped upside down, I am happy to have come out with what I think are some interesting, colorful shots that really weren’t too hard to pull off at home.

I’d even be happy to see someone with a bit more planning or a more creative eye one-up me on this. You know where to find me and I’d love to see it.