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A Single Drop of Water

Updated on May 22, 2013

Exciting Water Drops are Always in Motion

In my early years of parenting in a new home drops of water meant one thing - work.

It meant that a faucet was leaking, or a glass had toppled over, or someone sprayed the shower nozzle outside the tub. Science was not my area of interest, but when I returned to college a couple decades later to study art I developed a fascination with physics.

Exploring the physical effects of water from an aesthetic viewpoint adds an enjoyment formerly missing in my environment. This collection of photographs and videos demonstrates the simple phenomenons that explain how magnificent little bits of water assemble together in drops.

I captured a single drop of water, as it fell from my water filtration unit into my bowl of fresh cherries. It stands out clearly, against the white inside of the bowl, and its shadow is visible just below the drop.

Even when a single drop of water appears to be sitting there, stagnant, in fact, it is always moving around, shooting molecules into the air, in the process of evaporating, of moving from its liquid form into the form of water vapor, a gas.

This lens answers some basic questions about water drops:

1. How can water hold together in a drop shape?

2. Is there a simple experiment to show surface tension?

3. How can water float in the air?

4. What is a water drop's shape?

5. Does a small water drop reflect images?

Surface Tension

In certain conditions, water forms surface tension, a sort of invisible skin, as if the water molecules hold hands across to form a kind of chicken-wire structure that makes water bump out into a drop form.

This surface tension can be seen by pouring a small amount of water, say a couple tablespoons full, onto the countertop, or onto a flat plate. By looking from the side it is evident that the water sort of pooches up from the base.

Another example is to pour a tiny trickle of water along your finger, pointing down over the sink. Observe the water that accumulates into a drop shape at the end of your finger, when you stop pouring more water onto it. That water quickly forms a drop shape, held together by surface tension.

Pendant Drop

Upending a small diameter tube that contains a small amount of water is interesting. Observe how the water slowly begins to protrude out the bottom of the tube. Once the drop shape becomes heavy enough it was drop, to be replaced by the next pendant drop.

Small Drops

Tiny drops are called droplets. Droplets come out when we squeeze the trigger or plunger of a spray bottle. They are so small that they can hang in the air for a period of time.


Due to the water's ability to bend the direction of light waves that pass through a water drop, reflections are visible. Notice the clear reflections on the drop of water shown on the bright green leaf below. Since we can magnify the size of the photographs we take of individual drops of water, we can even see the reflections they show to us.


Notice the ball-bearing shaped water drop against the white of the bowl insides, above the cherries. The drop clearly shows as round as a pea. Other photographs below show varying shapes of the water particles as they bounce back when they hit the water surface.

What's a drop of water that falls into a bowl of cherries? Full of potential, on the brink, about to show you the world!

Below are subsequent photos of the impact of this drop, as it landed in the water..

photo credit for the water drop in cherries photos:Leslie Sinclair.

Surface Tension Holds Drop in Shape

One Single Drop

In one

drop of water

are found

all the secrets

of the oceans.

Kahlil Gibran

In One Drop

Water Drop Reflects the Sky

Water Drop Reflects the Sky
Water Drop Reflects the Sky

Single Drops of Water

Do you often pause to reflect upon a single drop of water?

Varying Shape of Water Drops

I took this photo for the purpose of aesthetic experimentation with water in my kitchen sink.

The water patterns were a play in geometry, so much more than a wet lemon.

How My Interest In Water Drops Piqued

I'm recently attracted to capturing water drops in movement, and this is a magnification of one tiny drop falling from a faucet into a bowl.

Blue Dye Drop Lands in Milk

Astounding sights are visible with high speed photography.


Pendant Drop Illustration

Learn more about the science of forces that are active, in the pendant drop test.

Pendant Drop

Water Drops Like Never Seen at Home

Water Drop Science

How a Drop of Water Falls

Watch this short video to see what actually happens as water drops fall from a faucet.

If you're like me, you grew up dreading the sound of a leaking faucet, with it's pervasive drop drop drop sound, but as an adult the concept of dripping water is a source of fascination.


Meaning of Water In Your Life

For much of the world's population water is a precious commodity and those of us with free access to clean running water may be more fortunate than we realize.

For more information on some measures that people in underdeveloped regions use to clean their water Read Water Pure

The Water Project is an organization that works to promote awareness and change so more people can access pure water.

The Water Project

Does water mean more to you than it did when you were a kid?

Paint, Draw & Photograph Water Drops

Water Knows Itself

"How could

drops of water

know themselves

to be a river?"

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Water Knows

So Much More to Learn

A Drop Of Water: A Book of Science and Wonder
A Drop Of Water: A Book of Science and Wonder

Choose which experiments to do from this inspiring guide for those who want to know water better.


Tell Me More About Water

From a Drop of Water - A Collection of Magickal Reflections on The Nature, Creatures, Uses and Symbolism of Water
From a Drop of Water - A Collection of Magickal Reflections on The Nature, Creatures, Uses and Symbolism of Water

Dive deeply into the mysteries and science of water.

Learn even more by exploring the science and culture of water.


Is the Nature of Water of Significance to You?

Have you looked at a water droplet under a microscope, or even a magnifying glass?

3-D Water Drops

Water Drop Clear 3D Crystal Jigsaw Puzzle
Water Drop Clear 3D Crystal Jigsaw Puzzle

This is an intriguing puzzle that looks like a designer piece on the coffee table or desk.

Interest the kids in learning more about the wonders of water.


Did You Learn Anything About Water Drops?

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    • Pat Goltz profile image

      Pat Goltz 

      5 years ago

      Very nice lens! I love your photos. I especially like the one of the dye dropping into milk.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      5 years ago from Canada

      Water is very relaxing to me so I can see how it fascinates so many others as well. I love your photos they are fantastic.

    • kathysart profile image


      5 years ago

      I wrote a poem called "A Single Drop of Water" ~ I guess we found the same appreciation for that. :)

    • ArslanSultan profile image


      5 years ago

      some useful suggestions here, thanks for sharing!

    • Michael Oksa profile image

      Michael Oksa 

      5 years ago

      Great idea for a lens! It shows that there is much more complexity in the simple things than most people realize.

    • rasnasah profile image


      5 years ago

      Unique lens.Wow!

    • CoolFool83 profile image


      6 years ago

      Such a fascinating lense!

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 

      6 years ago from Connecticut

      Amazing photography!

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 

      6 years ago from Kansas

      Really great photos. It is amazing what the eye can miss with things in motion.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I learned they can make for some great photos. Love the one of the drop on top of the flower.

    • Motionmaker profile image


      6 years ago


    • TheBLU26 profile image


      6 years ago

      Awesome lens! You take great photos too!

    • vinodkpillai lm profile image

      vinodkpillai lm 

      6 years ago

      I enjoyed being here - fantastic topic and content, great photographs and amazing videos - what more can one wish for? thanks!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image


      6 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Fascinating. And really amazing how beautiful a photograph of a drop of water can be.

    • lesliesinclair profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @sunny saib: Wish I'd had a microscope, as a child, because now I discover that the micro is as wondrous as the macro world.

    • lesliesinclair profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @Rangoon House: Such a kind comment. I always feel refreshed after spending time in nature.

    • lesliesinclair profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @blue22d: Thanks, those gorgeous photos captivate me every time.

    • lesliesinclair profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @MarcellaCarlton: Thanks so much. This is a great idea. Maybe he'll write and tell me how he likes it.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Yes, and I plan on sharing this lens with my nine year old grandson. We love to do science experiments. Great lens!

    • blue22d profile image


      6 years ago

      As one who likes to paint with watercolors, I can truly appreciate your lens. Beautiful pictures and documentation.

    • Rangoon House profile image


      6 years ago from Australia

      I learnt and I loved, especially your first two photographs. There is nothing as beautiful as nature.

    • Valerie Bloom profile image

      Valerie Bloom 

      6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Fascinating and beautiful!

    • sunny saib profile image

      sunny saib 

      6 years ago

      What a topic for a lens and so nicely done! Love the pics! :)

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 

      6 years ago from Concord VA

      Awesome lens about water drops! Yes, I did learn! Thanks.

    • siobhanryan profile image


      6 years ago

      Great photos Blessed

    • siobhanryan profile image


      6 years ago

      Great photos Blessed

    • Carashops profile image


      6 years ago

      Science, education and good photography. Inspiring lens.

    • jdwheeler profile image


      6 years ago

      I did. Great idea for a lens.

    • anne mohanraj profile image

      anne mohanraj 

      6 years ago

      An awesome lens!

    • OrganicMom247 profile image


      6 years ago

      I learned a lot. And the photos look great.

    • PlethoraReader profile image


      6 years ago from Silicon Valley

      I love the time you spent on the science just as much as the pictures. Blessed

    • Keith J Winter profile image

      Keith Winter 

      6 years ago from Spain

      Wow!! Amazing photos and interesting info.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      amazing photos, amazing drop of water!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      You chose awesome photos! Great info too!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Such great pics! Beautiful. *blessed*

    • katiecolette profile image


      6 years ago

      Love your photographs of water drops!

    • beffybooilu lm profile image

      beffybooilu lm 

      6 years ago

      Great picture choices in the lens! Squidmasters are right... Pictures do hold someone's attention!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wonderful lens..

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 

      6 years ago from Keller, Texas

      Didn't have time to watch the videos but was intrigued by your subject matter and it's presentation. Nice job!

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Wonderful images. Most enjoyable. Blessed.

    • ShariSmith profile image


      6 years ago

      i so love the images :)

    • Ardyn25 profile image


      6 years ago

      I did! Great post.

    • Snowsprite profile image


      6 years ago from Cornwall, UK

      Wow amazing I just love to see the water drops captured. What a great idea for a lens.

    • Rosaquid profile image


      6 years ago

      Yes, I did. Fascinating!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      What a cool science lesson on the water drop, absolutely fun and fascinating and your water drop pictures a fabulous, I noticed I was almost not breathing as I looked at them and then drew in a big deep breath of satisfaction. Congratulations on home page honors!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      The photos are absolutely amazing, and so are the videos. I never really thought much about water and how it behaves in motion. Really intriguing - and beautiful, like everything in nature.

    • HalloweenRecipes profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens. I did learn something about water drops, I found out how much there is to know about them...and here I thought they were just another pretty picture.

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 

      6 years ago

      very cool pics, love the page, Angel Blessings


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