Shooting Water: Frozen Water Shots

Since it does not have a definite shape, water can appear in different forms, literally and figuratively. In this article, we will discuss how we can freeze water action in an image using camera settings. We will also talk about freezing water literally to come up with creative images.

To freeze water in mid-motion, adjust your shutter speed to a very high setting, the highest you can make it. Since the shutter speed is very fast, you will need to compensate for the exposure by adjusting your aperture to a relatively small f-stop, which would mean a larger lens opening to allow more light to pass through.

Keep in mind that a large aperture means a shallow depth of field. Try to find a combination that keeps your shutter speed high without compromising the focus of interest. Adjust your ISO if you have to, or add more lights if needed. A flash can be very useful in times like this.

Water sports and games provide opportunities for fantastic water images where the water appears suspended in the air. You can capture the lines of the water as a swimmer slices through it, or the thousands of droplets flying in the air when an oar hits a wave. Water from man-made objects such as fountains, faucets, garden hoses, and sprinklers allow you to experiment for as long as you want since you can keep the water running. Water in nature such as giant waves or waterfalls would make magnificent shots especially if you can portray their immense strength.

Water has the capability to become a solid state. By literally freezing water, they turn to ice. This property of water allows us to have fun experimenting with how it can be used to make a subject more interesting.

The photo above is ice that was slowly melting as I was taking pictures of it. I placed some water, around half an inch thick, in a plastic container, and put it in the freezer overnight. By the next day, it had turned into a solid block of ice that was full of tiny dots and bubbles, almost like a starry sky. I lit it from the side with a lamp and against a dark background to show off the thousands of little dotted specks. This whole time, I was holding the camera with one hand and the block of ice in the other and my fingers were swiftly going numb. The lengths we go through to get the shot …

Your subjects do not have to be just ice. You can freeze an object and then take a picture of it. The most ordinary item can look very different when it is covered in ice crystals or is submerged under frozen water.

This entry was posted on Saturday, August 21st, 2010 at 9:00 am and is filed under Advanced Tutorials, Articles, Miscellaneous, Photo Inspiration, Photography Tutorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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