Taking a decent photo of a fast moving object with a camera phone is tricky. Very tricky, in fact. You need a camera that’s able to open and close its shutter at very fast speeds, at fractions of a second.
Fortunately, Nokia Pro Camera is capable of such speeds, and we’ve put together a guide on how to take photos of dripping or splashing water.
We’ve all seen photos of a water drop landing into a pool of water, while ripples radiate outwards to infinity. Professional cameras with very fast shutter speed usually capture those photos.
The shutter speed with Nokia Pro Camera can be manually set anywhere between 1/16000 (or 1 sixteenth thousand of a second) which you’ll need for freezing objects in their place, right up to four seconds, which is ideal for capturing light trails.
When capturing dripping or splashing water, you’ll need to turn the dial down to probably at least 1/1000.
To do this, launch Nokia Pro Camera and head to the control panel at the top of the screen. Find the shutter speed control (the second icon from the right) and tap on it.
Bring the dial down and start at 1/1000, but you may want to bring it down even further, depending on how your photo comes out.
You’ll also need to get in close to the water to be able to capture it effectively, so you’ll need to take manual control over the focus – it’s the third icon from the left in the control panel.
There are a number of ways to capture dripping of splashing water. One is to stage it, and the other is to capture it naturally.
Dripping water is notoriously difficult to photo in a natural environment, due to environmental factors such as wind and the continued water resource. Staging the shot will result in you capturing the photo quicker than if you’re waiting for nature to throw you a bone.
Taps are a good source for dripping water, so head to the sink or the tap in your back yard. Turn the tap on so that it drips, but not running.
To start, position yourself a short distance away from the tap, about 15cm away, and manually set the focus. You don’t want anything in the background to be in focus, otherwise you’ll not see the water drop in the photo.
It might also be a good idea to set the flash to always on. In a dark environment this is will be essential, but in a light environment, it’s up to you if you want it on or not. If it’s on, it can leave you with a nice effect as the light sparkles off the water.
Now take the shot! This is easier said than done.
Because you’ve set the shutter time to very low, it’ll only be open for a fraction of a second. That means capturing a moving object is extremely difficult and timing is everything.
You’ll undoubtedly need to take several shots, one after the other. But if you persevere, you’ll capture one that’s just perfect – like the one below.
Much like trying to capture a water drop, taking a photo of splashing water requires you to get in close to your subject.
However, because you’re not relying on a constant regular drip, you can get outdoors and find some good places to splash.
For this example, I found a puddle in the middle of the street and asked a colleague (Phil) to stamp in it. I wanted to capture his foot and the water escaping around it.
Click the image below for the high-res photo
As you can see, the result is quite a striking one. It shows an action shot, but I’ve frozen it. The water looks almost solid but still very fluid.
To capture this, or something similar, you’ll need to get down on the floor (or in the road, in my case, so be very careful here), which can be dirty work – but worth it if you get a great shot.
Start by asking your friend to put his foot in the puddle. That way you can set the distance and manual focus. Remember that you’re trying to capture the water, and not just the foot, so set the focus slightly closer than the foot.
Now, this next step involves splashing water while your phone, and yourself, is less than a foot away – so you might get a little bit wet – so again, be careful.
As your friend’s foot taps into the water, press the camera shutter key. Again, you’ll probably need to take a few shots to get the perfect shot, and making slight changes to the focus may help here.
With your Nokia Lumia, some perseverance and Nokia Pro Camera you’ll be able to master the water.
Have you captured dripping or splashing water with Nokia Pro Camera? Share them with us below.