It’s raining? Stay indoors and have fun with still life!

A quick announcement:

Last week, Paul Steele, aka The BaldHiker asked me to be a guest author for this blog. I was extremely honoured to be asked and delighted to contribute a piece with some photos. The post is called Intoxicated by London and features some images of London at night and in sunny days… You can read it here.

Taken from the top of the Shard - London at night as rarely seen before!

Taken from the top of the Shard – London at night as rarely seen before!

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Speaking of sunny days, writing the piece got me thinking about this wretched weather we are having and how it is stopping me from going out exploring the city and taking photos. As photographers therefore, we must be creative and work around obstacles such as rain, especially in Britain, for we would be almost perpetually flummoxed otherwise..

So lets stay indoors and have some fun with a macro lens!

Flowers reflected in water droplets

Flowers reflected in water droplets

One of the photographic tricks that I have always loved is reflections of flowers and other objects in water droplets. I used to love seeing these clever shots and have always wanted to learn how to do this.  Thinking it would be very complicated I never attempted to do it until one wet afternoon when I decided to finally take the plunge and just work it out.  What I actually discovered is that with a bit of tweaking here and there, the process is pretty straightforward.

Flowers reflected in water droplets

Flowers reflected in water droplets

Ingredients:

1 vase of flowers

1 extra vase with a single flower

1 camera

1 macro lens (or macro attachment)

1 tripod

1 cable release

1 can of water spray

Some patience!

So, I begun with placing the vase of flowers on the table and the second vase with the single flower around a foot or so in front of the first vase.  I sprayed the stem of the single flower with water until water droplets formed and stayed on the stem.  Then, moving the camera in front of the stem I manually focused the lens on the droplet.  After that I moved the first vases back and forth until I could see the flowers reflected in the water droplet through the lens. One final tweak on the focus to make sure it was pin sharp and there you have it.  So if I were to do again now, it would be simple enough.  Working this out did take a few hours however as I struggled with how to get the flowers in focus within the water droplet.  Once I realised that the droplet itself acts like a lens I understood it was matter of adjusting the distances between the two vases and the camera,  like I say – it is simple but requires patience and attention to minute detail.

I posted a couple of my results already. Below are ones that didn’t quite work – to highlight how tiny adjustments to the positioning can make a big difference! A pedants’ heaven, no doubt.  But either way, a pretty fun way of spending a couple of hours taking photos!

I hope to get a chance to do this with the flowers in my garden at some point, but with this weather, that may take some time..

Flowers reflected in water droplets

Flowers reflected in water droplets – this one wasn’t quite right – I include in here to show how small tweaks in the positioning make all the difference.

Flowers reflected in water droplets

Flowers reflected in water droplets – this one wasn’t quite right – I include in here to show how small tweaks in the positioning make all the difference.