When the waves splash on the beach, I can see droplets of water flying in the air. When the waves crash against the walls of the coastline, you see droplets of water flying in air. I have tried to take the photos of waves before and this is what I have found out. If I took a photo of the waves without the droplets of water flying all around as it crashed against the wall of the coastline, the picture failed to bring out the liveliness of the water. Similarly, if I took photo of the waves before they reach the beach, they do not appear that lively. How did I know that? This is because I took a number of shots at the waves. And the only one that stands out is when the front wave hits the beach with splashing effects.
You can conduct a simple experiment to see for yourself. Go to a swimming pool. Watch as people jump into the pool. When a person jumps into a pool, droplets of water splash around the surrounding. This is like making the water alive. When a person is swimming especially in butterfly style, you will notice that the droplets of water fly into the air and splash all around the swimmer. These flying droplets of water make it appears lively and full of energy.
Basically, you can make water lively in a photo by creating the splashing effects. However, this may not be appropriate in a case of a pond. Since there are no waves in ponds, it is not natural to have splashing effect. Throw a stone into a pond and observe. If you are trying to capture the impact of the stone when it hits the pond, then the splashing effect is applicable. But if you just want to capture the stillness of the pond, then you need what I termed as the ripple effect. You can see ripple of water created by the impact of the stone into the water. This is only possible because of the stillness of the pond.
Well, how to create the splashing effect or ripple effect artificially? Well, you can do so by creating disturbance to the water surface. Maybe you can throw a stone into a pond. Maybe you can throw a basin of water into the swimming pool or the sea.
In short, the simple idea that I will like to share with you is:
Make water lively by creating the splashing or ripple effects.