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5 Water Themed Photography Projects To Try Today

5 Water Themed Photography Projects To Try Today

Us Brits are well known for moaning about the water that often falls from the skies above the UK but even rain should be welcomed sometimes as without it, we wouldn’t have cascading waterfall, rivers and streams to photograph. So, to carry on with the watery theme, here’s 5 water-based photography subjects you should try and capture with your camera this year. 

1. Water Droplets

If you don’t have the time to find a river or stream, wait for it to rain and use a macro lens to capture raindrops on a window at home. The upside-down projection of the world outside always make interesting images or wait until the rain stops falling and head outside, into the garden, to photograph the drops of rain that can be found on plants. Focus on the end of a leaf, background blurred, so when the droplet falls you’re ready to capture it, pin-sharp. Just remember to use a tripod as the slightest shift in camera position can drastically change the composition and it will reduce the risk of camera shake too.



2. Waterfalls And Rivers

If you want to have a go at blurring waterfalls or the movement of a river head out on an overcast day it’s easier to get the slower shutter speeds you need to make this technique work. Make sure you have your tripod with you when you leave the house and a remote cable release (if you have one) to stop shake ruining your shot and take care when you’re metering as your camera can be fooled into thinking the scene’s too bright so all your shots could come out underexposed. Bracket a stopover and under or fit an ND filter to stop as much light entering the camera.

There is no right or wrong shutter speed to use when photographing waterfalls as this depends on how far you are from your subject, how much blur you want, the amount of water you’re photographing and the speed at which it’s flowing. But if you want a starting point, a speed of 1/15sec is a good place to begin. If you’re at the coast, this same technique can be used to photograph waves. Once you have your smooth, flowing water shots, set a faster shutter speed, 1/250sec or higher, and make your watery scene seem frozen in time.

For rivers, get down low with your wide-angle lens to demonstrate how the river narrows to the vanishing point or look for higher ground and show it meandering through the scene.




3. Reflections

Lakes and reservoirs provide plenty of potential for photographing reflections. A sunny day by a calm lake will give you an almost mirror-like image of your surrounding landscape but don’t forget to try and shoot somewhere there’s foreground detail to prevent the scene looking boring. If you’re not near a lake, a puddle or wet pavement will work just as well.

Double yellows


4. The Sea 

While at the coast you can either use a slow shutter speed to blur the waves or a fast one to freeze them in their tracks. If you go for the fast approach wait until the wave is at a peak and shoot. Slow speeds are great for creating lava-style flows of water as waves break on the beach. 




5. Water Bubbles

Capturing water bubbles is fun, challenging and can leave with you with a series of abstract shots well worth hanging on your wall. You’ll need quick shutter speeds and ideally, work manually to give you more control. 

5 Water Themed Photography Projects To Try Today 1


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dudler's latest blog : art, snap or reportage

Water! 2

I realised, a few days into shooting again, and running workshops, that I was feeling tired and almost unwell by the end of four hours in a studio. Now, I’m past retirement age and not the…

Water! 3 Water! 4 Water! 5 Water! 6

Water! 7

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These Photos from Space Make Earth Look like Water World

These Photos from Space Make Earth Look like Water World

These Photos from Space Make Earth Look like Water World 8
Photo Credit: Thomas Pesquet / ESA

European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet recently published a set of images from the International Space Station of Earth that show only water and clouds, which makes the planet look very different than it is normally seen.

Thomas Gautier Pesquet is a French aerospace engineer and took part in the European Space Agency’s Expedition 50 and 51. He recently returned to the ISS for a six month stay via the SpaceX Crew Dragon.

Pesquet recently shared a set of three images of Earth that he took from what he refers to as “the crow’s nest” of the International Space Station, but is very likely the Cupola Observation Module.

The cupola is a small module designed for the observation of operations outside the station such as robotic activities, the approach of vehicles, and spacewalks. Its six side windows and a direct nadir viewing window provide spectacular views of Earth and celestial objects. The windows are equipped with shutters to protect them from contamination and collisions with orbital debris or micrometeorites. The cupola house the robotic workstation that controls the Canadarm2.

As noted by Digital Trends, Pesquet’s reference to Earth as a “blue marble” is likely in reference to the famous image of Earth taken by the Apollo 17 crew in 1972.

Astronauts on the ISS have some of the best views of Earth and the individual members, who are regularly rotating, have uploaded thousands of images over the years. Last year, NASA paid homage to its favorites in its top 20 photos of Earth taken from the space station.

These Photos from Space Make Earth Look like Water World 9
Photo Credit: Thomas Pesquet / ESA

What makes Pesquet’s photos unique amongst the vast number that have been shared over the years is that this group of three shows no land at all. Considering that the Earth is made up of 70% water, it does at first seem strange that photos with this perspective are rare. However, the focus on land for most of those who photograph the planet from space is likely because humans spend very little time on the vast openness of the sea, which makes it usually less interesting for the average photographer or even viewer.

These Photos from Space Make Earth Look like Water World 10
Photo Credit: Thomas Pesquet / ESA

But Pesquet’s images are so jarringly unusual that they look like a completely different world, or perhaps the one from the 1995 action science-fiction movie starting Kevin Costner.

The scientists and astronauts have a wide range of top-of-the-line cameras and lenses available to them, but the best photos always require the best photographic eye, which Pesquet clearly possesses.

Image credits: Photos by Thomas Pesquet / ESA

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6 Top Tips On How & Why To Capture Creative Abstract Photos Of Water Bubbles

6 Top Tips On How & Why To Capture Creative Abstract Photos Of Water Bubbles

I know the first thing some people will ask: ‘why?’ Well, to be fair, that is a perfectly sound question and yes, why bother standing in a stream and shoot water bubbles. To me, it is because you can and with digital there is no cost. It is also a nice break from the usual blurred water shots that many of us love. So, while you are out there doing waterfalls, spend a few minutes afterwards trying this subject.

“It is fun, challenging and you may even like the results. In fact, if you want some abstracts to hang up, this technique is worth trying”, ePHOTOzine.

Of course, you can shoot water bubbles in the bath, should you feel that way inclined. However, this idea is water bubbles in a babbling brook or at the foot of a waterfall. Health and safety point here: Please take care on slippery rocks and obviously take care of your kit.

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1. Take A Support

You could, of course, use a tripod and position the camera so it is pointing down. Tripods that have a centre column that can be swung round to horizontal make it easier to shoot down onto the water’s surface as well as offering more support than working hand-held will. Do make sure your tripod is secure and balanced so it won’t fall over, camera first into the stream or river you’re photographing.

2. Pick The Right Lenses

Lens-wise, try your lens’s macro feature or use a macro lens. A macro lens used close up is perfect, but there won’t be a great deal of depth-of-field at such fast shutter speeds. Setting a high ISO is an option, but that depends on the noise performance of your camera.

3. Dress Appropriately

Wear sturdy boots, making sure they are waterproof if you’re planning on standing in a stream. Wellies or waders mean that you have more freedom regarding camera position but you can just find a suitable spot by keeping your feet dry and standing on a rock or something. You’ll also need a warm, waterproof jacket, particularly at this time of year when a rain shower is a common thing. Various jackets and photographer’s vests are available on the market.

4. Choose The Right Shutter Speeds

Find yourself a good spot in the stream. This can be in a sunbeam or it can be in the shade. However, very fast shutter speeds are the order of the day, so check the lighting and if you are getting 1/1000sec or more, great. It is an opportunity to explore those speeds of 1/2000sec and 1/4000sec. As with blurring flowing water, try different shutter speeds. Flash is worth a try too.


5. Let’s Talk About Focus And Exposure

Exposure and focusing are technical challenges. Your camera is not going to manage to autofocus – water bubbles do not hang around waiting for your AF to kick in. The best thing is to focus manually and then change the camera position to get sharp focus. The reject rate will be high.

Exposure can be tricky because you have a bright, sunlit bubble against a dark background, and the scene is constantly changing. Like focusing, taking the manual option is worth serious thought. Meter manually, shoot some frames and make adjustments. Once you have metered for a particular lighting situation, it is time to start shooting.

6. Don’t Stop Shooting

Shoot lots. You are not going to get the perfect picture in a couple of frames. You will find that the micro landscape in front of you is never the same twice – miss a shot and you are not going to get another identical shot. Put in a positive way, every shot you take will be unique – no question. You can also play around with your images in Photoshop, flipping images to create interesting patterns etc. 


6 Top Tips On How & Why To Capture Creative Abstract Photos Of Water Bubbles 12


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How To Capture Incredible Water Droplet Photos

How To Capture Incredible Water Droplet Photos

Water droplets are a lot of fun to capture, but it can be tricky to time the shot and light the scene. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get started and create your own version of this classic shot.

There are lots of photography staples I think most photographers have tried at one point or another. For example, most photographers will have tried their hands at light painting, long exposures of moving water, and street photography; they’re just part and parcel of owning your first dedicated camera. Another example for many is water droplet photography, but it can be trickier than most of the other staples.

Water droplets are captured by simply setting your camera up on a tripod and dripping water into a bowl or container so that it causes a small splash. However, there are elements to this simple shot that can make it more complicated. For example, you’ll need to have a fast enough shutter speed that the water won’t blur as it pops up from the surface. To do this, you’ll likely need some strobe or continuous lights to illuminate the scene enough to get a proper exposure. You then have the issue of timing the shots, getting the focus perfect, reflections from the lights, and so on. In this video, Jay P. Morgan of The Slanted Lens walks you through a behind-the-scenes droplet shoot, explaining what he’s doing as he goes.

If you want to mix it up a little further, I have three suggestions: milk or cream instead of water, food dyes, and colored gels on the front of your lights.

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johnriley1uk’s latest blog : water, water everywhere…..

johnriley1uk's latest blog : the cameras with the wonderful lenses

Water, Water Everywhere…..

29 Apr 2021 4:08PM  
Views : 85
Unique : 75

It’s raining. As if to confirm that water is the order of the day, tonight’s ADAPS Zoom Meeting is on the subject of water. There is no doubt that water is one of those ingredients that can perk up an image, be it real water or Photoshopped water. So today let’s have a look at some of my images involving water, along with a brief explanation where that might be helpful

Eyemouth and a subtle rendition of water shot at night. I waited and took several shots so I could get the red light of the warning beacon.

Gawthorpe Hall. The “water” is just a flipped image of the hall, presented to look like a reflection.

Llangollen. The broiling waters below the train station never fail to impress.

This shot from inside our dishwasher has had a good run!

A bit of light relief?

Soft water effect in the centre of Bergen.

Bodellwyddan. Another made up reflection.

Just one more step back……

Bass Rock, with added flare courtesy Photoshop.

End of the road. The consequences of not respecting water.

Boggle Hole.

Smuggler’s Bay. My made-up title, very Enid Blyton.

The Magic Pool. Soft water plus Photoshop flare.

Learning to Paddle.

Finally, it is Brother-in-Law’s funeral tomorrow, so I’ll finish today with a picture of him, as always quite happy to pose for trick shots. Photography can be fun, it’s allowed!

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How to Create Realistic Water Reflections Using Photoshop

How to Create Realistic Water Reflections Using Photoshop

Replacing the sky can be a powerful and valuable tool for photographers in a wide range of genres ranging from real estate to landscapes or weddings. When there is water is the shot, this can significantly complicate the process, but this fantastic tutorial will show you how to use Photoshop to add realistic reflections for a more complete photo.

Coming to you from Unmesh Dinda with PiXimperfect, this awesome tutorial will show you how to create realistic reflections in water when replacing a sky in Photoshop. Undoubtedly, this is a difficult process, particularly when there are ripples in the water that cause the scene to be reflected in an uneven manner. It is also a bit involved when it comes to computer resource usage and the time required for the results, so it probably is not one you will want to use on a lot of images, but when you have a signature shot that you want to polish, it can really help you take the image over the top. If you are a fan of Photoshop, it is also a fantastic deep dive into some of the program’s more esoteric features. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Dinda. 

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Skylum Shows Off Water Reflections in AI Sky Replacement Tool

Skylum Shows Off Water Reflections in AI Sky Replacement Tool

Skylum, the makers of Luminar 4 and the soon-to-be released Luminar AI, are taking a page out of the Adobe playbook. In a sneak peek video released earlier today, the company showed off the next iteration of its AI-powered Sky Replacement tool, which will be able to generate fake reflections from you “new” sky automagically.

Since its debut in 2019, AI Sky Replacement has become one of the more popular machine learning-powered features in Luminar. But while it does a decent job of cutting out the sky, dropping in something new, and adjusting the lighting in your image to match, there is one thing it notably does not do: it doesn’t add sky reflections to water.

That is, until now.

Skylum Shows Off Water Reflections in AI Sky Replacement Tool 13

In so-called Sky AI 2.0, the editing software will be able to automatically generate a reflection of your new sky on any highly reflective surface (mostly water) that happens to be in your original photo. It’s not a huge change, but the capacity to do this adds that little bit of extra “pop” that can really sell the edit and make it look “real.”

And if it’s not looking quite right, you’ll be able to adjust the strength of the reflection or even add ripples to the surface of the water.

You can see the tool in action in the video above, or check out some before and after images below:

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Skylum Shows Off Water Reflections in AI Sky Replacement Tool 17

Skylum Shows Off Water Reflections in AI Sky Replacement Tool 19

Skylum Shows Off Water Reflections in AI Sky Replacement Tool 21

Skylum Shows Off Water Reflections in AI Sky Replacement Tool 23

Skylum Shows Off Water Reflections in AI Sky Replacement Tool 25

Skylum Shows Off Water Reflections in AI Sky Replacement Tool 27

Skylum Shows Off Water Reflections in AI Sky Replacement Tool 29

Skylum Shows Off Water Reflections in AI Sky Replacement Tool 31

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According to Skylum, the new-and-improved Sky AI 2.0 will be coming to Luminar AI via a free software update sometime in 2021, and based on their wording in the video, it will not be coming to Luminar 4. Whether this means that all of the AI features in Luminar 4 will be left alone or phased out, we don’t know, but we asked Skylum for clarification and will update this post if and when we hear back.

In the meantime, check out the upcoming feature in the video demo up top, and let us know what you think of all these AI-powered photo editing tools in the comments down below.

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Photographing Water In The Landscape

Photographing Water In The Landscape

Rivers make a wonderful subject for the outdoor photographer, yet people rarely set out with the intention to photograph them. Rivers offer an abundance of opportunities from grand sweeping vistas to detailed abstracts to wildlife as well as being fantastic places to enjoy the outdoors. Here are 6 key pointers to help you achieve better river and open water landscapes.



1. What is the unique character of the river?

As river locations have their own unique character, one role of the photographer is to identify and emphasise this character. You can do this by asking a series of questions when you first arrive at a location:

  • Is this a large and impressive river or a small natural bubbling stream?
  • Is this a setting people might describe as being idyllic and picturesque or is it more of an urban or industrial setting?
  • Is the river clean and pure or dirty and full of litter?
  • Does the setting convey a feeling of tranquillity and calm or are there other emotions it sparks and if so what?
  • Is the river fast moving and powerful or more slow and sedate?
  • Is the water surface rough and broken by rocks or flat, calm and full of reflections?


2. Shutter speeds

Give some consideration to the shutter speed you will be using. Don’t just stop down to a small aperture for good depth of field and accept the shutter speed. Increase the ISO a little if you need to as the shutter speed can be a big influence the character of the image you create.

Long shutter speeds give smooth water and reflections, which all add to a sense of calm and tranquillity. Fast shutter speeds freeze the water and can really emphasise the feeling of power and strength in the water. 


3. Use a remote shutter 

With the remote shutter, you could position your tripod in a shallow part of the river to get a shot with a different angle without having to be stood for a long time in the cold water. Obviously, you need to be very careful if you want to try this as you don’t want your camera or yourself going for a swim! The remote control is also useful when photographing wildlife that lives around the river as you’ll be able to set your camera up and move away, increasing your chances of shy wildlife coming back to the spot your camera is in.  

4. Make the most of the weather

The weather conditions, time of day and time of year all help in determining the type and quality of light you will have to work with. It may sound obvious but you can’t do too much about these factors so look to create photographs that make the most of the light you have available.


River mist

Immediately after a rain storm, when the weather breaks can also produce magical lighting. The clearing rain storm in the image above produced very dramatic lighting, despite being shot at midday. The rain also helped swell the river to give a great cascading effect over the rocks.

The weather condition that is one of the best for adding mood and character is mist and fog. Rivers in autumn are often great locations for mist early and late in the day. Such conditions tend to be best around sunrise and sunset, often catching the colour of early morning sun. Look for the larger slow moving rivers located in open fields as these often give rise to the best mist.


5. Consider the time of day 

Early morning and late evening light is probably what most photographers think of as being the best light. Typically the sky is colourful and with larger, slower moving rivers, this great light will be reflected making the river appear to glow. Shutter speeds will be longer at this time of day which also helps smooth out the surface of the river. This is probably the best lighting conditions to create a mood of calm and tranquillity. It’s not always easy to organise yourself to be out photographing at this time of day but it is immensely rewarding in terms of images and the sheer pleasure of watching a sunset or sunrise.

Midday light, at least outside the winter months, tends to be a little harsh and it can be difficult to reflect the character of the river in its setting. If however the river is in an urban landscape this type of lighting can still work well at it can be used to emphasise the unattractive elements. Also, if the river is strong and powerful you can use the bright lighting to freeze the action. If you find yourself trying to work under harsh lighting conditions that don’t suit you location, try to seek out wooded areas where there is plenty of shade or focus in on capturing detail shots.


Autumn is also a great time of year to photograph rivers and streams in woodland areas. Trees will be changing colour making for vibrant scenes. Leaves will be falling into the river, often gathering in pools around rocks. Here be on the lookout for opportunities to shoot swirling patterns caused by leaves caught in the rivers current. With longer shutter speed this slow movement can be recorded as a swirling pattern. Consider using a polarizing filter to give a longer shutter speed but also to emphasise and saturate the vibrant autumn colours.


6. Think about where you stand

The direction in which you shoot the river can also have a huge impact on the character of you convey in your photograph. Shooting across a river tends to create a rather static image that flows in on one side of the composition and out on the other. If you have to compose with the river flowing horizontally across the image try to include something in the foreground of the frame to create a feeling of depth to the image.

Often large areas of the riverbank are nothing but grass. In these situations there is little to hold the viewer’s attention. Try to find locations where there is something to include in the foreground such as rocks and reeds.

Shooting along the river from its bank offers more potential especially where the river tends to bend and meander. Long straight rivers are less photogenic but can offer some potential. Look for long stretches where the perspective of the river can be emphasised using a wide-angle lens. The best positions however tend to be on bends as this lets you show off the bend and lead the eye into the image. Curves are more photogenic and pleasing to the eye than straight lines. Bends also allow you to position yourself so you look like you are shooting from in the river. This can further be enhanced by a long lens to ensure there is no foreground. When doing this though remember to include a point of interest to focus the viewer’s eye and attention.


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This Dead $10,000 Camera Shows the Danger of Salt Water

This Dead $10,000 Camera Shows the Danger of Salt Water

This Dead $10,000 Camera Shows the Danger of Salt Water 35

LensRentals recently got back a $10,000 Fujinon GFX100 medium format mirrorless camera from a customer who used it in dive housing and reported that it “suddenly died for no reason.” After Fuji declared repair impossible and insurance claims were paid, LensRentals decided to take the camera apart and look inside.

From the outside, the camera showed no signs of water exposure. But there’s an easy trick to check for saltwater exposure on most cameras that takes only about 10 seconds.

“Removing 4-8 screws in most cameras lets you take off the tripod plate,” says LensRentals founder Roger Cicala. “If there has been water, you’ll almost always see corrosion under it; water tends to wick up along metal, often traveling a good ways from where it originally entered.”

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A quick look at the I/O ports is also often enough to see whether a camera is most likely damaged beyond repair.

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“Once you’ve seen that it’s considered not repairable for very good reason – replace the corroded stuff you see, and something that looks OK fails in another month or so,” Cicala says. “[…] That’s the general rule of water damage, “it’s always worse on the inside.”

Opening up the camera revealed corrosion all over the bottom of the camera and on the circuitry and wires.

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This Dead $10,000 Camera Shows the Danger of Salt Water 43

“[T]his should be a great example of what even a little saltwater does inside a camera,” Cicala writes. “Seriously, everything we know about the incident indicates there was just a tiny bit of salt water that got the camera wet. It wasn’t immersed or anything. The camera worked for a couple of hours after that before going belly up.”

Even though the GFX100 is touted by Fujifilm as being weather-sealed for shooting in rough conditions, Cicala recommends keeping the camera dry based on what he saw during disassembly.

“I’ve seen a lot of claims that the GFX100 does well in the rain, and it may, because it has a big overriding top and rainwater is freshwater,” Cicala writes. “But did you notice all those weather resisting barriers and gaskets in the teardown? Yeah, me neither. I did notice some wide-open areas around the command dials you could shine a light through, and pour water in if water happened to be around.”

If you’re interested in the engineering and design of the Fujifilm GFX100’s internals, Cicala has published a lengthy step-by-step teardown of this dead camera.

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