Thursday, September 1, 2011

How to Photograph Water Fun

Summer is coming to a close. Only a long weekend stands between most people and the start of fall. Labor Day Weekend is a perfect time to capture those last summer shots to get you through the cold months ahead. The key to crisp, fun water shots is shutter speed.

Whether your child is running through a water fountain or splashing in the pool, you need to have a fast shutter speed to capture the water droplets in action.
I usually start at 1/800 and work my way up from there. The brighter it is, the higher you are going to be able to push your shutter speed and the less blur you are going to get on your water droplets. I stop down my aperture as low as possible to allow myself more shutter speed.
For instance, the photo above was taken with a 1/1250 shutter speed. Any slower of a shutter speed would have lost the small droplets of water on her face to a blur. Sometimes, as in the image below, if you are shooting in the shade, you have to drop your shutter speed instead of raise it. I recommend not dipping much below 1/600 or you will start to see a major clarity difference in the crispness of the water.
Don't have an camera that will let you control shutter speed? Set your camera to sports mode. Sports mode is often portrayed on a camera dial as a little guy running. Sports mode won't give you the same kind of control that setting the shutter speed will, but it will let your point and shoot know that you plan on taking fast, action shots.
Now get out there and enjoy your last long weekend before the cold. What are your water plans for this weekend?
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