Photographing puddle splashes as your kids play outside can prove to be quite the challenge. The kids are fast, water is spraying everywhere, and photos can turn out a blur. That’s why I wanted to share with you a photo recipe for photographing puddle splashes so you can embrace the cold, wet, and mud and capture your kids having a blast!
If you live in Washington (or have heard of it) you know it rains here, all the time. As I blogged about last week, my kids love splashing around in puddles. We can’t walk out to the car without Milo finding a puddle to splash in. He’s always telling me to “splash in that puddle mama, splash in that BIG puddle” when we are driving. It’s so sweet, yet means lots of laundry! But, I decided that this was a defining detail for his age. So I embraced the wet, grabbed my camera, bundled up the kids, put on their boots and found some big puddles.
Photographing Puddle Splashes: A Photo Recipe
Set Up: Put your kids in rain boots and find a big puddle for them to splash in! You want it big enough that the water will spray up a bit, but not too deep that they could swim in it! The best time of day is either early morning or late afternoon to avoid the harsh shadows from the sun.
Camera Settings: Setting my ISO first, I choose ISO 100 to have the most color richness. Plus, it was bright with the light filtered through the clouds, allowing me to have such a low ISO. I wanted to create to allow the most light in, while allowing my the splash to be the focus, so I had my aperture wide open at f/2.8. Finally, I selected a fast shutter speed to help me freeze the water’s movement and my son’s fast feet! With a shutter speed of 1/640 and my camera set on continuous shooting mode, I was able to capture the water at the height of it’s splash.
Compose: When photographing puddle splashes you can play around with composition. You’ll want to make sure you are low enough to distinguish the splash, but you do not have to be lying on the ground to do that! For this image below, I squatted down low, but was still a little higher than Milo. I focused on a point ahead of Milo’s running path and recomposed so that I could capture the splash behind him. I chose a horizontal orientation to emphasize his running direction. While I typically give my subject space to run into the frame, I loved how this image has him running out of the frame, with the splash filling the frame behind him!
Now it’s your turn. Your kids will love that you’re okay with them running through puddles, making them willing participants.