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Photography Tips: liquids / bubbles and running water blurring effect

This article contains 2 tips related to photographing liquids.

How to create blurred running water effects

Blurred running water effect gives a beautiful and soft feel to Nature Photography. The effect is primarily created by using long exposure shots.


These shots usually range from 1 to 8 seconds in aperture opening. This longer duration will allow the changes in water movement to be captured as beautiful soft blurs.
However, because of the long duration that the aperture is opened, over-exposure and instability of hand position must be taken into consideration. These issues must be corrected by certain compensations.
To compensate for the exposure problem, the F-number is usually set at a higher figure such as f/32. This will allow smaller rate of light entering the camera during the shoot.
To compensate for the need for position stability, the camera must be mounted on a secured tripod. Using hand to keep the camera in fixed position is simply not a good idea.
Well, these are some of the pointers for shooting blurred water shots.


Photographing liquids and Bubbles

Liquids and bubbles make very interesting photographic close ups. The reflection and refraction are alway nice to look at.


One common way of photographing liquids and bubbles is to use diffused back lighting as background. This way, lights passes through the liquid to produce the nice reflections and refractions. But really, there are no hard and fast rules for photographing bubbles and liquids.
Because bubbles can move fast in the water, many situations require the usage of fast shutter speed. Fast shutter speed is required to capture the details, unless a blurry image is desired.
Sometimes, bubbles are hard to come by. In that case, we may have to create them. One method is to use an air-pump to pump air through an airstone tubing as in an aquarium.
Sometimes, even ice and bubbles are substituted. This is often used to photograph clear liquids such as wine, oil and beer. Real ice and bubble do not last, especially in a photography session. Instead acrylic is used to fake ice. And spherical glass balls are used to fake bubbles. The advantage of these fakes items is that they are be positioned at will for good composition. For a purist, this faking of elements to create an effect is distasteful. Anyway, the preference to techniques is a matter of personal opinions.
Liquid and bubble phototaking is not easy. Sometimes many attempts have to be taken in order to get the effects right. At the end of the day, one may also edit the photo in an image editor such as Photoplus or Photoshop.