Many people ask about my water drop reflection photographs, are they photo manipulations or captured images? They are true captured images and I would like to show you that it is possible to produce this kind of shot with little effort. With some imagination and creativity, you will be ready to take a groundbreaking image in no time!
The Physics Behind Water Drop Reflections
Water drops tend to be spherical, and this is perfect for us because they act like a photographic lens. The only thing you need to do is get close enough with your camera to capture a picture like these examples. A macro lens is perfect for this subject matter. If you do not know about macro photography, the important idea is this: a macro lens acts like a microscope, allowing us to photograph tiny subjects with detail.
You can use extension tubes attached to your macro lens to get closer to the drops, they can be helpful but they are not completely necessary.
A Treasure Of Dices And Gems – Water Drop Reflections
Creating The Perfect Shoot
The next step to arrange droplets in front of the main subject. If you look close at the “Sunflowers” example, you can notice the difficulties of arranging the branches and drops in a real sunflower field. I made this photograph at home, using the same setup as you can see in diagram above. In fact, my sunflowers field was an image I had taken previously that was displayed in my monitor to serve as the backdrop.
Water Drop Reflection Photography Diagram
I put a monitor behind the drops; this allows me to have complete control over the reflection. The image to be reflected does not need to be maximized so you can move it left, right, up, down, make it bigger, smaller, etc. to get the perfect reflection for your photograph.
It is also important to line up the drops and the camera with the monitor. This will allow you to get uniform and perfect reflections on each drop of water.
I hang the drops on a variety of objects, from paperclips to small branches. The objects are up to you; just try finding something suitable for the kind of background you are going to use.
Water Drop Reflection Setup – Click on it to see it bigger
The other important thing is to play with depth of field. If you increase it, the details of the reflection will be better; however, this will make the background more focused, so you can experiment to get the perfect balance in each case.
The Secret Ingredient: Glycerin
Getting the drops in the right position or get them to be large enough can be a real nightmare. It is far more complicated that it looks if you have never tried it. Can you do something to make this task easier? The answer is yes.
Glycerin, or glycerol, is a viscous, colorless liquid used in some pharmaceutical products. It can be found in pharmacies, it is cheap and is the perfect asset for our task.
Mix a small quantity of glycerin with the water and you will observe that the water gets sticky and arranging the drops will be much easier than before.
The only think you have to do is mixing a small quantity of glycerin with water, you will observe that the water will get sticky and arranging the drops will be much easier than before. Do not mix a lot of liquid, with a bottom of a glass will be far enough.
To put the drops on place you can use a little brush.
As I promised, creating this kind of photograph is easier than it looks. The only limitation is your creativity and I am confident that will not be a problem. If we can put a field of sunflowers in drops without worrying about the wind, you can create a reflection of the universe itself with no extra effort.
Practice with different backgrounds; start using sharp subjects with bold colors and you will get stunning results in no time.