Photography Tips: Learning How to Photograph Water Pouring From a Faucet

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Practice makes perfect for amateur photographers.
Practice makes perfect for amateur photographers.

A seemingly easy assignment can often be more difficult to orchestrate and execute than at first impression. As an amateur, photographing water pouring from a faucet may seem simple enough until you see your first results on screen. The missed details will be obvious, whether the majority of the shot is out of focus or the objects in the background are distracting. A photographer can improve by learning more about the camera and by properly framing the shot.

  1. Camera Settings

    • A detailed water shot will be taken from close range, so adjust your camera to a very fast shutter speed and use the macro setting. Macro allows you to be in very close range of your subject — sometimes as close as a half-inch away. Shutter speed can help capture the size, shape and shine of water drops as they pour out. The tradeoff with an ultra-quick shutter, such as 1/200 or higher, is that it will affect your ability to focus. Manual focus is best for these types of shots, as automatic focus may constantly adjust as the water stream recomposes itself.

    Tripod

    • Any movement of the camera during a shot will disturb the focus due to the shallow depth of field that comes with using the macro setting of the camera. A tripod helps eliminate movement caused by the natural motion of the photographer, even the slight twitch of the trigger finger, and keeps the focus accurate to the photographer's settings. A camera mounted on a tripod has the most stability possible, and use of a timer setting or a remote will keep your hands off the camera entirely during the critical shot.

    Lighting

    • To achieve the greatest detail in your photograph, make sure the area in which you are working is well lit. If the faucet is in a kitchen or bathroom, normal room lights generally will not be enough to produce a quality photograph. Set up auxiliary lights and take test shots to judge the quality. Harsh lighting can be angled away or shielded, while dim areas can be accentuated with more direct light.

    Framing

    • When given the time to set up and prepare, a photographer must step back and look at the possibilities. Framing the shot is critical for achieving the right look. While some problems can be touched up with photo-editing software, angle and significant background flaws can't be fixed. Consider various positions for shooting water flow, whether straight on or from above. Examine the stream from the faucet and check your test shots to see if another angle may be more pleasing and capture the necessary detail. Remove distracting background objects or change your position to avoid immoveable items. A photographer must trust his instincts and adapt to the situation to create a worthy product.

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  • Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

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