Capture this Great Summer with a Splash of Water

Capture this Great Summer with a Splash of Water

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Capture this Great Summer with a Splash of Water

When we talk about summer, images like sunny sky, bright sunshine and outdoor activities come to our mind. All these have one thing in common – they are all “water” related. Think about the beach under the sun, moment of water splash when a wakeboard player jump and those “mirror of the sky” images with nice sunset reflection. Water adds charm and visual excitement to your photos. Let’s learn more about the shooting techniques!

Make Use of Reflection to Enrich the Photo Content

One of the main characteristics of water is that it can reflect the things around it. If you find it a bit boring when shooting landscape, you can always look out for lake, slow-flowing river or puddles of water nearby. Shoot from a low angle to include both the vivid sunset, starry sky and their reflections in the composition to enrich your photo content. For more shooting tips, you can refer to the article “Guide to Mirror of the Sky Photography”.
The photographer ingeniously made use of the reflective nature of water and crystal ball to create this double mirror effect, making this landscape photo look extraordinary

Title: 《水鏡》 Club Canon Member: Chris
EOS MEF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS + Mount Adapter EF-EOS M • 1/200s • f/5.6 • ISO 100
A calm water surface can create mirror effect, while the ripples of moving water twist light to create abstract blocks of color that resemble an oil painting. The latter is particularly useful in reflecting the sky or neon light colors to create images with an artistic look and feel. Take the photo below as an example. The vivid sunset colors reflected on the water turned this shot into an art piece.
Title: 《香港有晴》 Club Canon Member: Henry Fung
EOS 5D Mark IIIEF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM • 1/15s • f/13 • ISO 500

Freeze the Motion of Water and Excitement

It is often said that photography is an art of freezing time. We can use a high-speed shutter to freeze the water movement and use this to complement the split-second expression or action of the subject, as if we stopped the time and the excitement of that second. In general, a shutter speed of 1/1000s or faster is needed to freeze the motion of water or splashes, and we may need to adjust a bit according to the actual scene and the speed of water movement. Also pay attention to the aperture value and ISO setting used. A large aperture can enable the use of a faster shutter speed and prevent under-exposure. Besides, if we want to emphasize the roundness form of a water droplet, we need to see if the lighting brings highlight and shade to the droplet.
Title: 《白鷺嬉水》 Club Canon Member: Bella Yam
EOS 5D Mark IIEF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM +Extender EF 2x III • 1/1000s • f/6.3 • ISO 500
Title: 《與水童樂》 Club Canon Member: BIGRED
EOS 7DEF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM • 1/3200s • f/3.5 • ISO 640

Slow-Speed Shutter to Create a Sense of Eternity

Flowing water can add both dynamic and static motion to a landscape photo. With a slow-speed shutter, the flowing water can be turned to silky-like texture that flows softly over the rocks or a mist that covers the sea. This is a good way to show the passing of time or a sense of eternity. A tripod is an essential tool to this kind of long exposure shots. If the water is relatively calm, we can set the shutter speed to 10s or slower; or start from 3s if the water flows quickly. Also, set the ISO to the lowest setting (such as ISO 50 / ISO 100) and use a small aperture such as f/11. If the shutter speed is still too fast for a nice capture (e.g. only 1s or 2s) even after reducing the aperture and adjusting to low ISO setting, we can consider applying Neutral Density (ND) filter to achieve better result. For more tips, you can refer to the article “The Beauty of Illusion Capturing Images of an Unrealistic World with Lenses”.
Fixed objects with raw texture are recommended as they can be best complemented by the silky-flowing water. The contrast between the dynamic movement of water and the static rocks adds mood to the shot

Title: 《驚濤》 Club Canon Member: Simon Wong
EOS 5D Mark IIEF 17-40mm f/4L USM • 25s • f/16 • ISO 50
Title: 《沙灣黃昏》 Club Canon Member: YIK CHIU
EOS 6DEF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM • 6s • f/22 • ISO 100
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