This past weekend, I had some free time, so I decided to try something I haven’t done in a few years — waterdrop refraction photos.
Waterdrop Refractions? What Are Those?
I’m glad you asked! 🙂
Waterdrop refracton photos are photos of waterdrops where the waterdrop itself acts a lens to the image behind it. This allows you to focus on the water drop and to blur out the image behind it, providing a pleasing background.
OK, That's Interesting. Is it Difficult To Do?
Believe it or not, it’s actually fairly easy to do a simple waterdrop refraction. All you really have to do is just be sure to focus on the drop and not on the background.
It does make it easier if you have a dedicated macro lens, as well as some way to manipulate the drops to get them where you want them. For example, consider the image at the top of this page. I used a syringe to place a waterdrop on a dandelion seed. It’s not difficult, but it does take some patience. Here’s a short video of me actually trying to do it:
How Do You Get Everything So Sharply Into Focus?
That’s a good question. When you’re dealing with macro photography, it’s usually impossible to get the entire photograph in focus at the same time. This is because when your lens is very close to your subject (as it is in macro photography), the portion of the picture that is in focus at any one time (called the depth of field of the photo) is very, very thin.
To get around this, I took multiple photos of the subject, each with a different point in focus. I then put all the in-focus portions of the pictures together using software, to create a composite image that is entirely in focus. This process is called focus stacking, and it’s an essential skill to master if you really want to get clear and in-focus macro shots.
The shot at the top of this page was composed of nine different frames, each shot at a different focus point.
So, How Many Shots Do You Have?
I’m still processing some of the images, but so far, I have five completed (click on the images to see them enlarged):
So, Which Is Your Favorite?
That’s a tough call for me. I created these images for 52 Frames, and so I had to choose one to submit. I asked a number of people and got a wide variety of answers. Eventually, I went with my original gut instinct and submitted the one at the top of the page.
What do you think? Did I make the right choice? Would you have chosen a different image? Please let me know in the comments. I’d love to know which one you would have chosen and why you would have chosen it.