Tips and tutorials

A Simple Splash Photography Technique

A splash photography technique without using flash

Usually, splash photography requires multiple flash units. For those who cannot afford to buy a flash, splash photography seems to be a difficult thing to do. Most of the tutorials I have seen on splash photography should need atleast two flash units. But I found an interesting video tutorial showing a splash photography technique which I would like to share with you in this post. The technique uses a single light source, and you don’t need any flash! How cool is that! I know this is great news for those who don’t own a flash, but still looking for doing some splash photography.

This video is by the website They have some very good practical digital photography lessons in their site. So you should check out the website Learn my shot for more tutorials like this.

Here is the gist of this video

Setup: So basically what you need to do is tape your glass ware to a support and light the subject (glassware) from behind. You may have to mount your camera on a sturdy tripod. Use a rounded glass or wine glass for getting good splashes.

Lighting: They use a 100W halogen outdoor spot light for lighting. For diffusing the light, you might have to keep a roll of cloth or paper in between the subject and the light source. You don’t have to use white color all the time. You can use papers of various colors so that you can take a variety of shots.

Camera settings: Use manual mode for making a standard exposure. As you may know, in manual mode you can set the desired aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. For getting the exposure you want, you have to start experimenting various exposure settings. In this video, they are starting with f5.0, shutter speed 1/100s and ISO 100. And they are increasing the shutter speed until they got the desired splash.

Set the shooting mode to ‘continuous’. So the camera takes several photos in quick succession. This helps you in getting several shots of the splash.

Taking the shot: As you pour the liquid, press the shutter release button to take several shots. Now review the shots and if you don’t get the splash, you have to increase the shutter speed to freeze the motion. Change the exposure settings and see the results. I would recommend you to use a shutter release cable for good results.

Add some Color: Color the liquids using food colorants or dyes for variety. However, you should avoid dark colors since light has to travel through the liquid for getting good results.

So, that’s it. I think this is a great tutorial since it is very easy to set up. Enjoy and please share your results with us.

Check out: Creative Still Life Photography Tips


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Vidhu Soman

Hi, I am Vidhu Soman, Editor of Shutterstoppers. I have been doing photography since 2010, and I co-founded shutterstoppers community in 2012. I love photography, writing, travelling, and reading. If you wish to contact me, send a mail using our contact form.

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One Comment

  1. This technique may require several attempts and we can take a long time to achieve the best picture. The important thing is not to despair.

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