Experimenting with water droplets today. Pretty fun! I'd like to ask how can I improve upon it. First of all a picture of the setup:

enter image description here

Water is contained within a plastic bag that is taped to a tall-ish black lamp. Water drops into a big bowl that is covered with black plastic because the bowl itself is white. Flash is pointed towards a styrofoam background that is all white. Kinda ghetto home setup but it mostly works :) Now a sample of the results, SOOC:

enter image description here

Although the results actually turned out quite pleasing, my first expectation was for the color to follow the background, that is I was expecting it to be all or mostly white. However this is not the case, as there is some black there. How do I fix this if I want the color of the shot to be mostly white?

Thank you!


2 Answers 2


If you want the shot to be white, don't put a black bin bag in the bowl. If you want to add a touch of colour, try putting some coloured gels (or any coloured transparent plastic) over the flash. I'd try it without the diffuser as well.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your reply. It seems your correct about the black bag. I added the bag because I wanted the color to come from only the background that is lit by the flash, as I'd want to change the background with different colors. I thought the black plastic would help to ensure that the only color reflected onto the water is whatever the flash is pointing at. Is this not true? \$\endgroup\$
    – rabbid
    Commented Sep 3, 2011 at 18:07
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Take a look at this guide for water drop photography: diyphotography.net/… \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 3, 2011 at 18:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you want it to be purely white, you could always try milk? \$\endgroup\$
    – Dreamager
    Commented Sep 3, 2011 at 21:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the link! thats quite an investment he made.. over 500$! Cool devices though. Regarding the milk, my question is less about the color n more about how to reflect the background color onto the water. replace "white" with blue, red, yellow, etc. im wondering how to reflect whatever my flash is pointing to onto the water. \$\endgroup\$
    – rabbid
    Commented Sep 4, 2011 at 0:43
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ ElendilTheTall has covered the basics I think. The bounce from the backdrop is how I did these: grumpyjohns.com/2009/psychedelic_water_art \$\endgroup\$
    – Joanne C
    Commented Sep 4, 2011 at 14:16

Nice Image!

I think this is how i would try it in 3d and should work for RealLife images too.

Step1. Creat a semi-transperent white shpere almost like in this picture just bigger. http://i31.twenga.com/homewares/lampshade/12-spherical-paper-lamp-tp_2959502265558139280b.png

Step2. Cut a hole for the lens. Step3. If you have more than one flashlight (like Nikon Creative Lighting System) i would place them outside of the of the sphere. The distance of flashlight to shpere will creat sharper or softer reflections.

Step4. add different colour diffusers to your flashlight or lights.

Note. in 3d i would light a scene with a spherical hdri map,


i think this should creat the proper effect you aim.

Hope that this answer helps you XD

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks! I kinda lost you at "spherical hdri map"... I understand your basic idea :) I don't think I need a full light sphere/box to do it tho. It would limit my angles too much. \$\endgroup\$
    – rabbid
    Commented Sep 5, 2011 at 4:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ okies are you on flickr? or something i would like to follow you and see more nice drops :) \$\endgroup\$
    – GonzuS
    Commented Sep 5, 2011 at 5:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks! Unfortunately I am not on flickr. I occasionally post to deviantart at [email protected] and I keep a gallery at kevinpw.net. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – rabbid
    Commented Sep 5, 2011 at 6:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.