Water Splash


For our weekly task in digital imaging I suggested to make water splash images, its a bit of fun and it can be done with  straightforward equipment – a flash gun and camera – additionally I was aware there was a good tutorial available that I had previously seen and wanted to try. The tutorial covered the shooting of the images as well as the required post processing.

Shooting the images is relatively straightforward, basically you need a high key, backlit background with camera on a tripod and a means to trigger it whilst dropping object in the glass. The success rate of images is relatively low as you have to get both the aim and the timing as the fruit or object creates the splash.

Here is an example of bad aim as the object has hit the rim of the glass and bounced off, hence no splash.


There are a number of detail issues that make the shoot / post processing much more straightforward if attention is paid during the shooting process.

– Firstly the background should be completely white i.e. blown out, this makes the blending / editing of images easier as well as improving the appearance of the finished shot.

– The shape of the glass affects the splash. With a wide mouth glass, such as the Martini glass the splash tends to be more of an overspill than a vertical one as per this example.splash01_IMG_3933_cr

– A wine or champagne glass seems to give the best result where the glass mouth is narrower than the body of the glass as this seems to force the water up and out of the glass.

– Set the focus on the camera and then switch to manual, this avoids any delay in the camera auto focus system trying to focus on the falling object and makes the timing of the shot much easier.

– To make the glass appear as if it was floating in thin air I merged a photograph of the splash with a separate photograph of the stem in photsohop.IMG_3959

– The size and weight of the object being dropped is important, I tried some seasonal Christmas baubles but these proved too light as they tended to “land” on the water rather than create a splash. I found strawberries to be a good combination of size and weight and to add the desired seasonal touch I then used a sprout. Which in my opinion is far better use for them than eating them 🙂

Blending the top and bottom of the glass was a technique gleaned from another similar tutorial where the water was thrown into the air rather than the object falling into the water (example below). By combining the two elements of photographing the splash and merging the bottom of the glass I was able to create a number of images.

Previous Splash Image



The final images are acceptable but took more editing than the tutorial indicated, this was due uneven lighting of the background. This is relatively straightforward to correct and I will try and improve this for a future shoot.

I do like this style of shot as there is a certain randomness about them, each splash is unique because even though the process is  repeated the result is different time due to minor variations – the height of drop, angle object hits the water and so forth.

This entry was posted in Digital Imaging.

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