Many people ask about my water drop photographs with reflections, are they photo manipulations? Well, there aren’t and this is the reason to write this article.
I will show you how is possible to produce this kind of shoot with little effort; with some imagination and creativity you will be ready to get a ground-breaking image in no time!
All is about the shape of your drops, drops tend to get spherical and this is just perfect for us because they just act like a photographic lens. So the only think you need is getting close enough with your camera to capture this type of picture, a macro lens will be perfect for this matter. If you don’t know about macro photography, the important idea is this: a macro lens acts like a microscope allowing as photographing tiny subjects with great detail.
The next step is arranging some droplets in front of our main subject. If you look on the “Sunflowers” example you would probably notice the difficulties of arranging the branches and the drops in a real sunflowers field. However, the truth is quite different, I made this photograph at home using the same setup as you can see in diagram above; as a matter of fact my sunflowers field was a picture on my monitor.
Water Drop Reflection Photography Diagram
Let me explain this diagram a little bit. I put a monitor behind the drops; this allows me to have complete control about the reflection. The image to get reflected doesn’t need to be maximized so you can move it left, right, up, down… make it bigger, smaller… It’s all you need to get the perfect reflection on your fine art photograph.
It’s also important to put the drops and the camera perfectly line up with the monitor; this will allow you to get uniform and perfect reflections on your pictures.
Water Drop Reflection Setup - Click on it to see it bigger
The other important thing is to play with depth of field, increase it and the details on the reflection will be better, however this will make the background to be more focused so you will have to play a little bit to get the perfect balance in each case.
If you have extension tubes to attach on your macro lens that will be helpful but they are not totally necessary, you can do well without.
Get the drops in the right position or get them to be bigger enough is a real nightmare, it’s far more complicated that it looks if you never try it. Can you do something to make this task easier? The answer is yes.
Glycerin or glycerol is a very viscous colorless liquid used in some pharmaceutical products, it can be find in pharmacies, it’s cheap and is the perfect asset for our purposes.
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.
Don’t 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 so you are going to spend practically nothing of water.
As you can see with this technique the only limitation is your creativity, if you can put a sunflowers field in your drops without worries 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 I promise that, you will get stunning results.