The challenge: water droplet

Yup, I did it again – I had a bright idea that didn’t really work out.  I had a great time trying to make it work though, and the results aren’t all bad.

Bright idea = photograph something (a flower that produced the leaf I put the water on) through a water drop, and have the water drop act as a magnifying glass of sorts.  The idea was to get a perfect little miniature flower encased inside the water droplet.   As you can clearly see, it’s not perfect.  It’s somewhat out of focus.  The depth of field is horrible!  But, I had a grand time acting the mad scientist trying to get the thing to work out.

If anyone decides to go try this yourself, keep in mind that the magnifying effect is reversed.  It took me a few tries to figure out that my helpful little flower actually needed to be upside down in order for it to reflect right side up in the droplet.  Enter, flowers dangling from a clothesline across my window while I hunched over the camera and tried not to breath (breathing made the flowers move.)

It’s surprisingly difficult trying to get the whole setup to stay in focus.  The slightest little movement on my part, the camera’s part, or the flower was enough to jar the entire thing out of focus.  And even with the camera on cautious mode – on a tripod with a self timer and the mirror locked up – things ended up quivering just enough to throw me off my already precarious focus.  And adding a smaller aperture to the mix didn’t make a difference – f20 didn’t help the depth of field too much when the exposure needed 13 seconds of no movement or breathing.   Flash probably would have helped with that – someone who has a nice off-camera flash get back to me with samples.

Add to that – I was trying to keep water off the actual camera lens.  This shoot held the water droplet about 1 inch – if that! – away from the lens.  Water + lens = really bad idea.

Even with all the technical difficulties it was a fun shoot.  And if you happen to drive by a house and see flowers dangling in the window, you’ll know what’s going on: I promise, we photographers aren’t crazy, we just want to try something new.


6 thoughts on “The challenge: water droplet

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