I started researching the best way to do this. Everything from mini squeegees, to spit and even the grease from the corner of your nostrils (which actually works the best) came up.
What got me the most though, was the countless surf photographers hating on water droplets on the outer lens element. It really got me thinking about it and why it is such a pet peeve for so many photographers (if it is your pet peeve you may want to stop reading now).
So, I did as I would always do when someone told me about a particular must follow rule in photography. I did the opposite.
The results? Amazing.
I will start off by saying though, that it is pretty unpredictable, and I did blow a lot of shots trying to make these good ones, but if you are shooting images and worried about failing, you simply will never create art. You will just create the obvious boring old image.
When you dip your housing into the water and raise it up to shoot, you have no clue where the water droplets will end up. If the drop lets cover the main part of your subject, the shot is simply not going to work.
The other key to shooting with water droplets on the outer element is it is best to shoot into the sun to get a bokeh effect. Shooting away from the sun, or on an overcast day leads just nothing but blurry blobs that don’t add to the creative aspect of the image.
So go head surf photographers. Try shooting with some water drops on the lens element and see what you get!