Water Splash Freeze and Blur – Photography Experiments

In today’s experiment I want you to think about two concepts: freezing motion and blurring it. Our subject to day will be water and you’re going to take two photos of it in motion or more if you like.

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Your objective today is to capture one image of water with its motion blurred and one with it frozen. This hopefully won’t be too difficult but I am always available in the comments section if you get stuck.

A Water Experiment For You To Try

I’m not going to give you step by step instructions for this one because you should be able to riddle it out by yourself if you’ve been following the lessons on this site. But I will share some examples.

Experiment 1 – Blur That Water

Sure, you can turn on a faucet in your home and get shots of the water falling down, but I’m challenging you to be a little more creative. Some questions to ask yourself in this experiment:

– What will my shutter speed be?

– Do I want a lot of light or a little?

– Would a filter (or pair of sunglasses) help?

– How will I keep my camera steady (hint: you’re going to have a slow shutter speed and handholding your camera might not work)?


Experiment 2 – Freeze the splash

Now go the opposite route. You want to emphasize the motion of the water by stopping it in time, clearly. The same questions above apply with a few additions:

– Which mode do I want to be in (M, A, P, S)?

– One photo or many?

– Does my background matter?



My hope is these two experiments get your creative juices flowing when it comes to stopping and blurring motion. While blur is a four letter word, it is not good nor bad. Like any tool, it matters how you use it.

I’d love to see your results! Post them online and share a link in the comments below. Or @ me on Instagram (Explore_Inspire_Educate) or Twitter (@pwcarey).

Photography Basics – A 43 Day Adventure, and its companion 40 Photography Experiments, are series written by professional photographer Peter West Carey. The series are designed to unravel the mysteries of photography, helping you can take better pictures. Subscribe here to receive all the updates and bonus material. Your comments are always welcome.

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