Make it rain! – creating rain and bokeh effect with water

Hello folks! 🙂

I hope you all are doing great and passing a wonderful time! Today I’m about to share a simple trick I use to create some of my rain photos. Usually I use a spray water bottle to make fake rain, but this method is for getting a bit more heavy rain look with more water droplets. It’s super easy and fun (and a bit messy too :P)

I always love to create rainy photographs, and since winter is coming there will be enough time to do more indoor shots. so lets bring little rain to your photos and make something beautiful 🙂

Props and tools

The things I use to create my photos are very simple. Small still life objects ( I used one of my sea shells here), something to sprinkle the water, towel or paper towels (lots!) and something to pour the water, (I used a teapot).

I thought of different options to make the water sprinkler, but for me the nice and most easy way was to make this one from an old empty soda bottle. I cut it in half and punched some holes and that’s it. At first I thought of using a watering can but that would be heavy to work with and also I had to buy it. So instead of buying I liked the idea of recycling and making my own little water sprinkler. This makes the water flow scattered and gives some big, beautiful drops.

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Lighting

To get some beautiful bokeh in the background you’ll need a source of backlight. I’ve shot this in my balcony where there’s plenty of natural sunlight available. I placed my subject in a corner where I could get nice backlight without causing much shadow cast in my subject. And to get rid of existing shadows, I used a little white reflector which was a cut sheet of styrofoam.

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Shooting

So now that I’m done with my composition it’s time to shoot! With my camera set to self-timer mode I poured water onto my subject through the sprinkler during the exposure. For this photo my camera setup was something like this: Shutter speed 1/1600 sec, Aperture f/1.8, ISO 640. You may need to adjust the shutter speed depending on how heavy you want the water drops to look. Slower shutter speed will make them appear softer.

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Things to remember

Working with water is a bit critical and you should always be careful about your lens and camera. Just to be on the safe side, I highly recommend capturing some test shots before pouring water onto your neatly arranged subject. Also keep in mind that water will probably make a bit of mess and change your composition slightly, so leaving some space for rain drops and chaos would be a good idea.

So when you are all set up, let it rain! Pour water and make a series of shots. Another advantage of using a tripod is if you can’t get the picture you wanted you can always composite different images together and create the desired look. Just be careful with your electronic equipments and have fun. It’s always such fun to mimic the rain and if you can get some nice water crowns it will be icing on the cake! 🙂

This is my final result after post processing

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Some other photos using this technique

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I hope you like this little behind the scene story. Please do share your thoughts and also if you have any ideas, I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

I wish you all a very Happy and Creative day!

Behind the scene and speed edit video

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Inspiration is Everywhere – shooting miniature car scene

Hello my friends! 🙂

I hope you all are doing great!

So few days ago I went to shoot for a photo project I’m currently working on, and I’ve found a place which looked very ordinary and not so interesting at first but in the photographs it looked quite beautiful! So I thought of doing a behind the scene story about it and sharing with you guys 🙂

I often get asked where do I find my locations or backgrounds and one of my friend even told me how he wish he had the backgrounds like that near him. Well, the answer is most likely you already have! All you have to do is to look a bit differently and get creative with it. So I hope this will give you the idea about what my backgrounds are look like 🙂

The location I went for photographing is a bit far from the main city. The reason I like it so much is because most of the time it’s very quiet and I can roam around and take photos without people watching me :D. So I was just taking some shots for my project and there were some constructions going on. Beside the construction site there was a little drainage system to pass the rain water, and when I saw that drainage I immediately got an idea. All the rocks and pebbles and flowing water looked like a little creek to me. Fortunately I had one of my miniature cars with me and I thought I’d create a scene with it, something that gives the feeling of a journey… as if the little car is taking a short break after a long journey.

So this was the drainage I used as a creek 😛 I think this is the fun of photography, you don’t have to get the real things, you can always mimic and create your own space!

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The scene was pretty simple… setting sun, a little creek, with hint of mountains in the background. The only trouble was to get down real low to get a good perspective for the car. And yes I did covered part of myself with the dirt and mud haha.

There were some piles of sand and gravel which looked like hills to me, so for the mountains I thought of using them. I turned my camera focus mode to the manual and took some defocused shots of the piles which looked just like mountains.

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shot defocused using manual focus at f/1.8

And later I composited all the images together in Photoshop. First I opened the main shot, expanded a bit, added the mountain background, then added a sky overlay to make it look more atmospheric. This is the steps I did to create the final scene

expanded the main image using crop tool

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Then used the eye dropper tool and picked colour from the background

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Then using the brush tool I painted over the background

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Then copied and pasted the new background as a layer and resized, changed the opacity and using the mask tool I removed the unnecessary parts.

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And later added a sky overlay, changed the opacity, resized and removed the unwanted part by masking out

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So this is my process of adding a background. Now it was easy to add a background like this because I already had this white clear sky in the background. Also luckily it was an overcast day, so it’s easy to blend the images as the lighting is even. So if you are going to try some compositing or something that requires image blending, I’d suggest to shoot in an overcast day or ambient kind of light. It’s also great for changing lighting, like I did in this image.

Also you don’t always have to take different shots and combine them together, most of the time everything is there.

Here’s the main shot

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and this is the finished one

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Another example of the same place where I’ve created this

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So don’t be too concerned about finding a perfect place, if you try to see things and think a bit differently trust me there will be more than enough!

I hope you like this and also I’d be very happy to know about some random places where you’ve taken a picture. So please do share your thoughts, photos and stories! 🙂

Hope you all have a wonderful day/night! Happy creating! 🙂

speed edit video of the whole editing process:

Shooting falling objects

Hello all! 🙂

Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted in here. Forgive me for being such a lazy person 😛

Anyways, for the last couple of months I’ve been asked about how I create my falling objects photos. Today I’m going to share a behind the scene story about my process. It’s pretty easy and simple and so much fun to capture falling objects and I always love how they add that extra something to a photo. Hope you’ll like it 🙂

Setup and props:

First thing’s first, I plan my scene. This is the first and most important part for me, I like to prepare and have an idea in my head what my photo should look like before shooting it no matter how simple it is. Because I tend to forget little things and details, so not only this saves me from forgetting but also it’s a great time saver. So try to have an idea about what you want to create, I sometimes sketch out the scene I’m going for. This will help you to set up your composition and also later the processing part will be much easier.

Most of the time my setup is very simple, especially for the flower photos. Either it’s a single or two flowers or a little group of flowers in a teacup. I like to keep it minimal and simple because I’m already going to add some elements, so nothing should look distracting.

Settings

I use a wide aperture like f/1.8 for this, it’s just enough to capture the details I want and also creates beautiful bokeh. And a high shutter speed is recommend, something like 1/1200 sec or 1/1600 should be great.

Lighting

Lighting is another most important part of this. You will need some kind of backlight or light falling from above, to make sure your falling objects are well lit. Otherwise they wont be as much visible as you want. So place your subject in a place where you can get some backlight on your objects, this will make them visible and the reflecting light will create a beautiful bokeh.

Shooting

When I first photographed something like this I was trying to get everything in one shot. And that was just not working. As I prefer to work outdoor, I had to face some problems like wind blowing up the petals, and with something as light as the petals you can’t be sure that they will fall in the desired direction. Another crucial part is to keep up with the timing. So you need to take several shots to understand the character of the objects and what would be your best timing to capture them before you shoot the final photo.

So now what I do with this kind of shots, first I take my main shot of my subject, then I switch my camera to manual focus to keep a fixed focus. I drop the objects from above and use self-timer to capture them falling. I take several shots to ensure the objects would fill the frame, and later I merge them together with my main image in Photoshop. This is why a tripod will come in handy. You just keep your camera on the tripod, take all the shots you need…and later just mask in and out the falling objects you wanna add or remove. This gives much easier workflow and saves a whole lot of time, and you get the look you wanted.

Editing

After done with the shooting now you can choose the photos and combine them in Photoshop into one picture.

I always take a main shot first without anything added. This helps me know from which photo to start. I open the main shot or the plate, then add the objects by using the masking tool in Photoshop.

So this is my main shot

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And now these are the shots I’m going to combine into a final image

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I open them first in Camera RAW, make some regular adjustments like contrast, noise reduction etc as needed. And then I start putting them together. I start by the main image, copy and paste the other photos over it as layers and then I mask in or out the objects as I like.

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After combining them I give the image a colour treatment according to the mood I want to create. I use different adjustment layers like gradient, selective colour, colour balance, sold colour etc and change the blend modes and opacity to get the desired look. And finally a little bit sharpening et voila! I’m done 🙂

Final result

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more photos I’ve shot using this method

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Here’s a speed edit video of the whole editing process

I do hope you like this and this helps a bit. Let me know if you have any questions and also please do share if you got any tips. See you next time, Love & peace 🙂