Water Drop Photography – Part 2

Camera and flash settings

One misconception with capturing water drops is that you need to use a very fast shutter speed on the camera. In fact, the best way is to use the flash duration to freeze the action. The recommended method is to dial down the flash to a duration of 1/30000th sec or less (usually 1/64th – 1/128th power) and this will freeze all movement in the drop(s). This is possible on most flashes using the on-board controls.

Any DSLR can be used for water drop photography but the lens should allow focusing to a short distance, hence the common use of a macro lens for this type of work. Other options are a standard lens with extension tubes, bellows or  reversing ring. I haven’t tried any of these options.

My current kit is :-

  • Nikon D750
  • Sigma 105mm macro lens
  • Nikon SB600 flashgun

My camera setting are :-

  • Shutter speed – 1 second
    • If the environment is almost completely dark, the camera shutter can be left open for this length of time as the only light source will be the flash
  • Aperture – f/11 – f/22 depending on distance to drops and on how much depth of field you are aiming or. Usually the aim is as much in focus as possible.
  • ISO – 100 (or minimum for camera)
  • Manual focus
  • Mirror lock up if possible to minimise camera shake

To see some of my water drop images click here

Next time

  • Liquids and additives




  1. I really appreciate your guidance on the Pluto droplet valve I’m learning with each post looking forward to more thanks.
    I’m just starting to use mine and I’m all over the road lol


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