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Just Add Water - A Photo Tip When You Can't Think of Anything to Shoot

Updated on September 16, 2014

If a writer sometimes encounters "writer's block" a photographer also sometimes encounters an equivalent "photographer's block".

A photographer especially a hobbyist (like me) sometimes just can't think of anything to shoot. What to do then? Well, a helpful advice is to - just 'keep on shooting' just as the usual advice to the writer is to 'keep on writing'. But what will you shoot?

One answer is - "think of water, just add water".


boys playing by the sea, a water form
boys playing by the sea, a water form
a house amidst a mangrove forest and water
a house amidst a mangrove forest and water

Why Water?

Water is always a fascinating subject for a photo. And since water can be found almost anywhere, you will never run out of water to shoot.

If you are an islander, then you are very lucky because you are surrounded by water. There is the ocean or the sea just a few steps away from your doorstep. Or there is the mangrove or the river just a hike away.

If you live in the countryside, chances are you have some waterfalls or lakes or rivers or streams.

It's always fun to photograph waterfalls or streams. You can capture the flow of water with a slow shutter speed and make it appear milky and smooth. Or you can use a fast shutter speed to freeze the water movement.

waterfalls using slow shutter speed
waterfalls using slow shutter speed
splash of water captured with a fast shutter speed
splash of water captured with a fast shutter speed

Rain, Rain, Don't Go Away

What happens if you cannot go out to the country or the sea because it's raining? What happens? You have your answer there! There is water, plenty of water! Shoot the rain from your balcony or the raindrops on your window pane!

I took this rain photo from my backdoor
I took this rain photo from my backdoor
another view of rain from the other side of my backyard
another view of rain from the other side of my backyard
the raindrops from my window pane
the raindrops from my window pane
rain through the window of a speeding car
rain through the window of a speeding car
raind through the window of a slow moving car caught in traffic
raind through the window of a slow moving car caught in traffic

What if you are inside the car when it's raining? Well, if you are the one driving, then of course you cannot take a picture. But if you are a passenger, then this is an exciting time for you!

I learned how to shoot rain through a car window. The results are usually one of a kind photos. The best camera setting to use if your car is moving is the "sports mode". You can't go wrong with this mode because it will take a burst of shots and your chance of getting a good shot increases. Not only that, the movement of the car will also create streaks on the car window and this adds another exciting dimension to your photo.

raindrops on a rose
raindrops on a rose
perfect reflection after the rain
perfect reflection after the rain

After the Rain, There are Raindrops and Puddles

After the rain is one of my favorite moments for taking photos. There are raindrops galore everywhere. I already wrote a hub about raindrops before, RaindropsA-Few-of-my-Favorite-Things. so I'll just include one raindrop photo here.

Another thing that we can take a photo of after the rain are puddles. They capture beautiful reflections. I also have a hub on reflections. Reflections-in-Photography.

See, I just love photographing water wherever  they are.


Adding Water Enhances A Photo

Adding water to a photo always creates a more interesting photo. Just take a look at these two photos of a starfish. Which do you think presents a more appealing photo?

starfish at the beach
starfish at the beach
starfish at the beach but with water in the background
starfish at the beach but with water in the background

Water adds breadth and depth to any photographic composition.

water occupies almost the whole frame in this photo
water occupies almost the whole frame in this photo

Water Expresses Emotion

You want to express serenity or calmness? Take a photo of still water.

You want to express rage or danger? Take a photo of raging water.

Just Add Water and You Will Be Fine

So just adding water makes a lot of difference to a photo. It can even make you win a contest as what happened to this photo below.

We had a photo shoot about a festival, the Aliwan Festival of which I wrote about before. I-Recommend-the-Aliwan-Festival-in-the-Philippines.

However, it started to rain and everybody went for cover. I went for cover too but I kept on shooting and got an award winning shot.

So when stumped on what to shoot, just add water!


My Other Hubs On Photography

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    • profile image

      Mylindaminka 

      5 years ago

      Бороться с веснушками можно отбеливающими и отшелушивающими средствами, с помощью которых удаляются верхние слоя кожи, в которых расположены веснушки. Недостаток этого метода – повышенный риск шрамообразования.

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Trish,

      It's nice to see you again!

      Hahaha! And I thought I was the only one!

      Thanks for coming back!

      God bless!

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 

      7 years ago from The English Midlands

      "Sometimes, people can't believe that I have to ask them how to use their P&S"

      Hi :)

      Yes, that happens to me, too! :)

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hello Trish,

      Thank you very much for your beautiful comment!

      Oh, unlike you, I have problems with a point and shoot after getting used to my SLR. Sometimes, people can't believe that I have to ask them how to use their P&S when they ask me to take their photo. Hahaha!

      Thanks for sharing your experience!

      God bless!

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 

      7 years ago from The English Midlands

      Hi Jill :)

      What lovely photos!

      You are right ~ water is a beautiful subject for photographers!

      I used to use my SLR a lot, which gave me good control over my pictures, but I now have a simple little digital ~ which I do not even know all the rules for, not having read the booklet!!! It is easy to use, though, and I take hundreds of photos! No photographers' block for me!

      My daughter has an SLR digital camera. It's great!

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Obscure_Treasures,

      Thanks for your beautiful comment. I also have more hubs and photos of Boracay. Please check them out if interested.

      Are you from the Philippines too?

    • Obscure_Treasures profile image

      Obscure_Treasures 

      7 years ago from USA

      I have taken such beach photos recently in Boracay! These photos are really good!

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hello TajSingh,

      Thank you very much for your visit and wonderful comment.

      God bless!

    • profile image

      TajSingh 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Jill! Excellent tips and great photos. I'm amazed that you are able to think of all these photo shoot ideas.

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hello Errol Kane,

      Thank you very much for your wonderful comment!

      God bless!

    • profile image

      Errol Kane 

      7 years ago

      Nice shots of creative energy.

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Pixel-Alchemist,

      Thanks very much! You just started my New Year on a high note with your beautiful comment.

      I'm happy to meet somebody who is also into shooting in the rain.

      Thanks again for your visit.

      God bless!

    • Pixel-Alchemist profile image

      Pixel-Alchemist 

      7 years ago from Waitakere Auckland : New Zealand

      Real nice Hub. I love shooting in or after the rain. I'm yet to get to a waterfall or beach front, so looking forward to those trips

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hello Dobo,

      Thanks very much for appreciating my work. You have made me very happy. It's just a perfect comment to brighten my day.

      God bless!

    • dobo700 profile image

      dobo700 

      7 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for some fantastic pics.

      You can't beat a sunset over water.

      Keep up the good work.

      Dobbo

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hello Lovingu,

      Thank you very much for your heartwarming comment.

      Hope to see you around again.

      God bless!

    • Lovingu profile image

      Lovingu 

      7 years ago from London

      These photos are simply stunning.Great article too.

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hello realfree,

      Sorry for the late reply. I was out of town for a week and did not have a chance to access an internet.

      Thank you very much for your wonderful comment. I do intend to keep on writing.

      God bless!

    • realfree profile image

      realfree 

      7 years ago from Indonesia

      I like your article.

      Fantastic pictures too.

      Wow....

      Please write more.

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hello alexandruv,

      Thank you very much for your visit and nice words.

      Well, it may not always be easy but adding water is always interesting, for me anyway.

      God bless!

    • alexandruv profile image

      alexandruv 

      7 years ago

      Haha, interesting point of view. I wish things would be that easy :)

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hi hpwriter,

      I agree with you, sky and water especially where they meet always draw the eye.

      Thank you very much for your visit and beautiful comment.

      God bless!

    • profile image

      hubpageswriter 

      7 years ago

      I do have to say that water is a good source of great photography. In fact, my love for this genre stemmed by looking at pictures of the sky and water initially. I'm awed. Thanks for this hub jill.;)

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hello Carrie,

      I am an amateur too or what you may call a serious hobbyist. I just love to take photos and to keep on learning what works best.

      I'm happy if my hub gave you something to think about. That's great!

      Thanks very much for visiting and leaving an upbeat comment.

      God bless!

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Becky,

      It's so nice to see you here!

      Thanks very much for your wonderful comment.

      God bless!

    • carrie450 profile image

      carrie450 

      7 years ago from Winnipeg, Canada

      I'm just an amateur as far as photography goes and I know that the background in a photo is important but you have given me something to think about about photos with water. Great info and well written.

    • Becky Puetz profile image

      Becky 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Excellent hub, great tips and photos

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hello Steve,

      Yes try the rain photos, they are fun to take.

      Thanks very much for dropping by and leaving a lovely comment.

      God bless!

    • Steve 3.0 profile image

      Steve 3.0 

      7 years ago from Cornwall UK

      I like the rain photos, must try some of those, we get plenty of it in the UK:)

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hi barbergirl,

      That's great! Go go go! Enjoy your new camera!

      I also have more photography hubs. Just check them out for more ideas. I also have a photo blog. The link is found in my profile page here.

      Thank you very much for the visit and upbeat comment.

      God bless!

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 

      7 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      Awesome perspective... Thanks for the tip. I was trying to think of interesting things to shoot with my new camera. Guess I will be looking for water now! :)

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hello twentyfive,

      Thanks very much! I really appreciate your visit and comment.

      God bless!

    • twentyfive profile image

      twentyfive 

      7 years ago

      Some wonderful tips :) Great photos. Raindrops on a rose is my favorite :)

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hello mioluna,

      Thank you, thank you very much! You have made me very happy with your comment!

      God bless!

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Ign Andy,

      Nice to see you here!

      Yes, water always adds something to a photo. Thanks very for your lovely comment. Hope to see you again!

      God bless!

    • profile image

      mioluna 

      7 years ago

      Beautiful, beautiful photos!

    • Ign Andy profile image

      Ign Andy 

      7 years ago from Green Home Office

      Hi, this simple tip is really works. I never thought adding water will create some dynamic/motion in the picture. Great hub!

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hello Allan,

      What a beautiful thing to say! Thank you very much! You have made me very happy!

      You are most welcome. The pleasure is really mine!

      God bless!

    • Allanknowhow profile image

      Allanknowhow 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Hi Jill,

      Very impresive explanation, thank you! I learn a lot here. Cheers...!

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hello De Greek,

      Thank you very much!

      I'm sorry for this late reply. I was in the province and did not have time to access the internet. It's good to be back now and catch up with friends once again.

      God bless!

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Shalini,

      Sorry for this late reply. I was out in the province for one whole week and did not have time to access the internet. I just got back today.

      As always, your comment brings joy to my heart. Thank you very much for always being supportive and appreciative of my efforts.

      God bless!

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

      Love your photos :-)

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 

      7 years ago from India

      Beautiful pictures, Jill! Yes, water is beautiful but it needs a great photographer to make the pictures stunning :)

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hello kingkhan,

      Thank you very much for your wonderful comment. It's my pleasure to share what I know and what I love do. Comments like yours are what inspire me to keep sharing.

      See you around!

      God bless!

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hi coffeesnob,

      Great to see you again!

      Your words always make me happy and inspired.

      Thank you for always being here for me and for appreciating my work. You are a great friend!

      God bless!

    • kingkhan78 profile image

      kingkhan78 

      7 years ago

      interesting hub and useful information sharing to hub page community

    • profile image

      coffeesnob 

      7 years ago

      Jill, I am always uplified by your hubs. Your photos are exciting! I eally liekd the reflection and the last one with the rain at the Aliwan Festival. Your eye for beauty is keen and your heart inspiring

      CS

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Peggy,

      It's so nice to see you!

      Reading your comments always makes me happy too! Thank you very much for appreciating my work. Thanks too for rating up and beautiful! You're a great friend!

      God bless!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Looking at your beautiful photos always makes me happy. You've done it again! Voting this up and beautiful!

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Cindy,

      Thank you very much for your heartwarming comment.

      Yes, that is so true, water is simply beautiful so we tend to take a picture naturally. I'm happy if this hub made you look at water in a new light.

      Thanks very much for dropping by Cindy. See you around!

      God bless!

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hello Nellieanna,

      Wow, coming from an artist like you, that's really something! Your words are music to my ears!

      Thank you very much for dropping by. You honor me with your visit and comment!

      God bless!

    • profile image

       

      7 years ago

      Hello Green Lotus,

      You always make me happy with your visits and comments! Your words always play a resonant chord in my heart.

      I must say we have a mutual admiration society because I also love your hubs!

      Thanks very much!

      God bless!

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Sally,

      You know, I was tempted to add that technique myself. I sometimes do it too especially with fruits and vegetables. However, I had second thoughts about using it.

      Thanks for the upbeat comment! I'd like to join you in your coffee time!

      Hope to see you again!

      God bless!

    • Cindy Letchworth profile image

      Cindy Letchworth 

      7 years ago from Midwest, U.S.A.

      Water...beautiful water. I think I've taken lots of pictures with water but never really thought about that much until now. You pulled some great examples for us. Thanks.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      7 years ago from TEXAS

      I adore your water photos!!! Truly works of art! Thanks for lovely imagery on a dry hot Dallas day!

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      So beautiful and so creative as always jill. I'm a real fan of your work :)xxx

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 

      7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      What a delight to read and view! I was especially enchanted with the rain pictures.

      You know, when I read your title in this morning's HP email, the instant image that came to mind was of standing in front of a studio table with a water bottle and spraying an object. I have done this before, with some good results. So, I was for a moment there wondering what light you were going to shed on that technique. Once I started reading, I had a good laugh at myself. :)

      Think I better go get that third cup of coffee!

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Christoph,

      Nice to see you!

      Thank you very much for your wonderful comment! That means a lot to me because you are an artist.

      Hope to see you again!

      God bless!

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 

      7 years ago from St. Louis

      Wow! Great pics, Jill. Some of my best featured water also. Your camera has great close up and high speed capabilities, and you know how to use it! Great composition!

    • jill of alltrades profile imageAUTHOR

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Cheeky Girl,

      Thank you for being the first one here. Yes, some of the photos may look familiar because I used some of them in my other hubs.

      I love Boracay beach too! As I said before, Boracay is my favorite island and I'm going back there again this month.

      Thanks very much for the wonderful opening salvo!

      God bless!

    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 

      7 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      Great photos here. Some look familiar. I have a photo of Boracay just like one of the beach shots here. Love that beach! Some great ideas. Just add water!

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