Photography for teens should be fun. There’s no need to lock yourself in a studio or take still-life photos of fruit… Get outdoors and get creative! Water photography is one of the most fun ways to play around with your camera.
Water is everywhere. Taps, pools, lakes, rain, bottles… Which makes it a really easy-to-use accessory for your photography. Plus, it’s reflective and transparent, which means you can really play around with it and get hundreds of photos with unique patterns, shapes, and colors.
As long as you’re keeping your camera out of the splash, you can go wild and take some really creative pics with just a bit of the wet stuff. Here’s how to do water photography the right way!
Water Photography Settings
A large part of learning photography for teens is about figuring out the right camera settings for different types of photography. You can play around with your settings and experiment with the type of photos you want to get. Here are the basic settings we recommend for water photography.
Action Mode/Shutter Speed Priority (Tv)
If your camera has an “action mode”, you can use that. It might also be called “sports mode”, and it’s usually a little icon of a man running. If you’re brave enough to use non-automatic settings, you can set your camera to “Tv” or “S”, which is shutter speed priority mode.
This allows you to choose your own shutter speed. A speed of 1/1000 is a good choice for water photography, because it will freeze the water in action, so there shouldn’t be any blur.
ISO is how sensitive your camera is to light. A higher ISO means your photo will end up much lighter, and it’s usually used in low-light situations. For water photography, we recommend using automatic ISO.
In online photography classes for teens and adults, you’ll learn how to use the ISO value to create the kind of picture you want. But as long as you’re taking water pictures in a well-lit place, auto ISO will be absolutely fine.
After you’ve chosen your shutter speed priority mode, look for the “Burst” setting. With this feature, you can hold down the shutter button and the camera will take photo after photo, until you lift your finger.
You can take multiple photos in one shot, split-seconds after each other. This is useful for water photography, because water moves so fast! With Burst, your camera will take a range of photos so you can look through them later and find the best one.
Water Photography for Teens: Things to Try
Ready to start trying water photography? The best way to learn photography for teens is to get out into the world and take photos! You can do everything from watery landscapes (with reflections!) to close-up photos of water droplets on flower petals.
Whenever you’re messing around with water photography, make sure you aren’t too close to the water. If your camera gets wet, it could get damaged. Use your zoom function so you can stay at a safe distance. Here are some ideas you should play around with this summer!
Grab a friend to help you with this. The easiest way to start with splash photography is to fill a bucket with water and get your friend to drop something into it from a bit of a height. A ball or a stone or rock is the easiest thing to use.
Keep your camera roughly level with the bucket so you can catch the splash as it happens. Make sure you’re zoomed in and you might want to cover your camera with a waterproof jacket just to be safe.
If you can get water to spray quite forcefully, it can make a fun photo! Fill a thin plastic bottle with water and lay it on the ground, on its side with the bottle cap off. Get yourself and your camera as low down as you can go—on the ground is best!
Then, ask a friend to jump on the bottle, and get ready to photograph the spray that comes out! Make sure it’s not pointed towards the camera, though! You can also use a hose here, on the “gentle” spray.
Water Balloon Pops
Water balloons can be a ton of fun. Fill up a bunch of balloons and hang them from a string, in a tree or from anything that’s not too high. You want them to be hanging at around eye-level to get the best pictures.
Now comes the fun part! The pop is where all the magic happens. You get ready with the camera, and ask a friend to pop the balloons. The easiest way to do this is with a pin (a friend poking the balloon with it) or a dart (throwing it from a short distance away).
Keep in mind that you’ll probably see a hand or a dart in your picture! You can experiment with different ways of popping the balloon to try and get just the water. Or, you can make the hand or the dart a part of the picture.
Everyone has a water hose… So ask your bud to hold it while the water’s on, and take some pics of the water streaming out. Experiment with taking close-up photos and with zooming out a bit, but make sure you’re not too close that your camera gets splashed.
You can also ask your friend to place their finger half over the hose opening so the water sprays out more forcefully. Just keep in mind that they may not be able to control where the water goes, so be careful not to get your camera wet.
Whatever you try, make sure you focus on the water and not on the background. You should be able to use auto focus, but it might take some time to get it right. If you can’t find a hose, try the faucet!
While we recommend a faster shutter speed for capturing water droplets in action, you can also go the opposite. Try using a slower shutter speed to take pictures of running water, which will give it an interesting blurred effect.
Switch your camera to the S or Tv setting and start off with 1/10. Moving subjects (like flowing water) will be blurred, which makes it a very fun setting to play around with. Great for waterfalls and flowing rivers!
Photographers to Inspire Water Photography for Teens
It can be hard to find photographers who specialize in water photography. But most photographers have spent some time playing around with water as a subject—check these ones out and try to copy some of their pictures!
Online Photography Courses for Teens
Water photography for teens is only one of the fun, interesting things you can do with your camera. It helps that water is so common! But if you really want to get a handle on your camera and learn how to take the best photos possible (of just about anything), join one of our online photography classes for teens.
Aside from actually getting out there and snapping away (which you’ll do plenty of) studying photography this way is the best way to get good fast! All the lessons, information, and tips you need, right at your fingertips. It’s fun, interactive, and encourages that inner creative to come out and play. We’d love to have you!