I took this photo:

I chose a bush as the background, mainly because water and a green background go together very well. I also had the aperture to around f4.5, so the depth of field is much smaller, blurring the background further.

I just want to know if there are more ways of improving this(such as using a flash diffuser, etc.)


  • When you posted this image in the photo contest, you said, "This was taken with a NIKON D5000, with: shutter speed: 1/500, ISO: 800, F-stop(aperture): F4.5". Are those correct? What lens did you use? – scottbb Jul 28 at 20:36
  • Also, did you add any lighting, or light modifiers (reflector, scrim/shading)? – scottbb Jul 28 at 20:36
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    @scottbb Yes, those are correct, and the lens was a Nikon 200 millimeter lens. – 10 Rep Jul 28 at 20:56
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    No, I took the photo outside @scottbb – 10 Rep Jul 28 at 21:32

I would suggest trying a large, diffuse flash (softbox perhaps, or firing a flash into a diffuser) lighting the water either from the front or from behind. Then back down the ambient light exposure to darken the background. That will give you a lot more contrast between the water and the background, and also let you control the way you light the water.

| improve this answer | |
  • So I add lighting from the back, and then decrease the exposure compensation? – 10 Rep Jul 28 at 20:07
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    Increase the shutter-speed to reduce the amount of ambient light. Add flash on the water, either from behind or from the front/side. (The effects will be quite different. Experiment to see what you like.) Set the flash power manually or you're going to drive yourself nuts fighting with the automatic exposure of the camera. – Duncan C Jul 28 at 20:27
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    I don't know if the D5000 supports high speed sync? Alternatively reduce your ISO to slow your shutter into flash range, underexpose to darken the background and use manual flash ,or possibly second curtain flash, from the side to bring up the water exposure. – user10216038 Jul 28 at 23:46
  • @user10216038 Got it. – 10 Rep Jul 29 at 1:42

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