Nicholas Adams photography blog

Water/ Milk Droplet Macro Photography

So I thought I would try out droplet photography as it differs greatly from my usual commercial and architectural photography so I read a lot online on various sites such as

DIY Photographys Guide to water droplet photography

and checked out the various techniques and decided on one that I thought I could achieve so I went to the local supermarket and picked up the following:

10 x water droppers (got from local chemists for 80p each!!!!)


A tray

Food colouring (various bold colours)

This was essentially all I needed apart from the camera. I chose to use my Nikon D3S which is my main workhorse camera and for the lens I chose to use the 60mm Macro.

The first issue I came upon was the issue of getting the droplet in focus as the depth of field on the macro lens is very shallow. I built a rig to make sure the drop was in the same place every time which basically involved a piece of wood with a hole through it to place the dropper my results immediately improved.

I added in another studio flash and I had many missed attempts such as the following which is the result of many failed attempts at dropping food colouring into milk:

Macro Water Droplet Photography

Image Copyright Property of Nicholas Adams (

I then adjusted the camera angle and f stop which I dropped down to help increase the depth of field.

I swapped from using milk to using water with black food coloring in it and then dropping milk mixed with food coloring into the water...The results were sporadic timing the camera and the flash and the droplet together was tricky but I knew I was getting close when the images started to look like this (also still out of focus I know)

An attempt at Macro Water Droplet Photography by London based Interior and architectural photographer Nicholas Adams

Image Copyright property of Nicholas Adams (

I then decided to include some smoke in the image to add some much needed background and finally I managed a shot I was happy with....:

Image Copyright property of Nicholas Adams(

Below is a diagram (please excuse my terrible diagram but it should show basically what I did:

Thanks for looking and I hope you enjoyed the photos and possibly learnt something or got inspired for more examples of my work from Architectural or Interior photography to Documentary and editorial please check out my website: