Reflections In Water Drops

The weather has not been cooperating to go look for photo subjects, so I was trying water drops inside. I had wanted to do this for a while so I had gathered some of what I needed at work to take home. I used a sheet of plexiglass, treated with Rain-Ex to make the water drops bead up more, (lessens the surface tension on the drop making a better round drop). I braced it a about 6-7 inches above a flat surface so I could position photo subjects underneath so I would get interesting images in the water drops. I had an 18 x 24″ plexi so my braces holding up the plexi would not be reflecting in the drops. I also used, to be safe, small bottles of water which were clear to also help. It takes some trial and error, but you learn as you go and towards the end of my session I have come up with better techniques for next time. The hardest part was to get an interesting pattern of drops. I put some glycerine in the water and used a syringe to apply a pattern of drops by hand on the plexi. I did not want to use a spray bottle because some of the drops would blend together and get an odd oblong shape. I also was shooting at a very slight angle, but shooting directly down might be better. But you might reflect in the plexi so I have to see how that works. I tried a 150mm macro, but I switched to a 100mm macro which seemed to work better.  I was trying different apertures. It seems to be a balancing act to distance of drops to subject and f/stop used, but it is a trial and error as you go to see what works best for you. I might try a 50mm macro next time, but might have to have the plexi closer to the subject. I also tried a 2 image focus stack on some. One for the reflection in the drop and one for the base edge of the drops. I did not want to go above f/8 as I did not want my main subject for reflecting in the drop to be more in focus. I used a variety of subjects, but my favorite was a small US Flag I had on my desk. I tried different positions, f-stops. After my first session I have a few ideas to make it better next time. Just moving your main subject a little makes for different views in the drops.

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11 Comments on “Reflections In Water Drops

  1. What a cool experiment and what wonderful results! I have seen images in water drops in outdoor photography but have never tried to creat the effect. Yours sure turned our well!

  2. Thanks! Fun to do on a rainy day and you are stuck inside. It is a learning experience since any slight change gives a little different look. Will do more when I have a chance.

    • I have been wanting to try this for a while. It was raining out so I gave it a try, but I had limited props. I had a small flag on my desk so I concentrated on that. Even small rotations gave it different looks. Learned a lot for next time.

  3. Thanks! Something to do on a rainy day! Actually I wanted to try this for a while and brought home plexi and assorted other items to try it out.

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