Huh? Yep. You heard me right. Pee on a rock. How will that help you make better pictures? It’s simple really, but before I explain that I should confess, the whole pee on a rock thing was just a gimmick to get your attention. It worked didn’t it?

Now, I don’t really recommend you go running around peeing on every rock you see in order to improve your photography, but I want you to understand that sometimes things just look better when wet. As an example I’m including two photos of the same rock, shot the same day, under the same conditions except that in one the rock was dry and in the other it was wet. Wetting the rock brought out some richness in the colors. Had I thought of writing this article at the time I made the photos I would have shot the rock from the same angle in each, but alas, 20/20 hindsight…

Peeing on the rock probably would have had much the same effect as pouring water on it. Who knows, maybe it would have done better, but I had plenty of water with me, the rock was along a trail, and I don’t think it would have been the most pleasant experience to be so close to a rock that had just been peed on. All good reasons to use water, but under other circumstances pee probably would have done the job.

Because you can’t always predict with accuracy how wetting down your subject will effect it, take a shot before you do. In my experience it’s a lot harder to dry off a rock than to wet one.

So, when you want to try adding a little more color to your subject, you know what to do. Just make sure nobody’s looking!


Dry Rock/Wet Rock
Here you can see the difference in the saturation of colors created by wetting the rock (image on right). Click on the image for a larger version.

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