Friday, June 18, 2010

Capturing reflections in raindrops - macro photos

How to capture reflections in water drops/raindrops?

Capturing reflections in raindrop macros is easier as you think, on an amateur level, of course.

I captured this beautiful rose yesterday. We had several, heavy rainstorms during the night; big trees were uptorn by the roots not to mention the poor rose bushes.
Pink magenta rose-macro photography
This is what's left of the beautiful pink rose. It will take some time till other blooms open but in the meantime I can experiment with raindrop macro shots.
Rose after rain
In my previous posts some of the commentators asked about how to capture reflections in water drops/raindrops.
Let's separate things; photo quality is one thing where we can speak about setting the shutter speed and the aperture etc., manually for every photo weather it's a portrait or a raindrop.
Reflections are simply there for everyone, amateurs or professionals, though there will be no reflections in a raindrop without a reflected image.
There is no secret there and it has nothing to do with processing either.
Raindrops on rose petal
Each droplet reflects its surroundings, so in each of them you can find many different reflections by simply changing the angle you look at it.
A water drop is a (concave) spherical mirror which shows the reflective image inverted compared to the object (in this case).
To capture reflections in a raindrop you have to look for it unless you have serious knowledge of geometric optics.
Canon A460
Each of these photos were taken with a small, $100 point and shoot digital camera, which does pretty much everything for me and is always in my purse.
Photography is not rocket science, at least not for me and I assume you don't have time either to study physics or geometry , in order to capture a reflection on photo.

So this is the way I do it!
This rose is on a rose bush, not a single rose.
Each raindrop reflects some part of the bush, another bloom, leaves, stems, even the wall of the house. Let's concentrate on this raindrop at the edge of the rose petal! Some of the photos enlarge by clicking on them.
Pink magenta rose in the rain
Look closer at the raindrop and you will see some colored spots in it. Now find the same colored spot with you camera; you can't see the whole reflection with naked eye because it is too small.
Walk around this raindrop and take a few shots from different angles too.
Rose reflection in raindrop
Notice that my eye level is always on the same level (height) as the droplet (principal axis) or subjacent (under its level) but never perpendicular from above.
This way the droplet is highlighted. With back-light the droplet will be very shinny but is is more difficult to capture it if your camera is faced to the light source.
Then simply focus on the droplet in the foreground, hold your shutter button down half-way and then re-frame the scene if needed. Shoot!
Rosebush reflected in raindrop
In this droplet you can see the rose bush, a few blooms and a window on the wall of my dentist's office but the reflection is upside down. I took these photos while waiting for the rain to stop, no special equipment or tripod were used.
See some more examples at my "Reflections in raindrops" - macro photo gallery.

My intention in this post was to encourage everyone to try it with whatever equipment you have. All you need is a little patience and the result offers a great satisfaction!

22 comments:

Kramer said...

Sorry I can't help with the bugs, I have no idea what they are. Love playing with the macro shots, thanks for the inspiration!

leavesnbloom said...

Maia thankyou so much for giving me tips on the raindrops - its not been raining here for days and I really don't want to go out and cover my blooms with tap water so I'll patiently wait until the next shower of rain before I try your technique.

You've made it look so easy with your gorgeous rose blooms - I hope with practice that I'll be able to do the same......... it's gonna be fun.

Rosie ( Mr Linky will take you to Centre of Interest blog for the submission to the meme)

ruma2008 said...

The Droplet seems to be totally crystallized...
Thank you for showing splendid jewels.

Greetings.
ruma

bfarr said...

I have always wondered about photograhing water droplets, but never tried. Thanks for the tips/explanation. Beautiful shots.

JM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quilt Works said...

Wonderful raindrops and such a simple good explanation of how you took them! It is fun to see your camera too.

Kathy said...

As usual, your pictures are superb! Thanks for the tips. I actually did take some great pictures last summer of roses with raindrops (but not with reflections like yours). Living in the desert southwest of the US and getting only about six inches of rain each year, I'll have to go visit someplace to try these techniques! But believe me, I'll remember them! Thanks.

Greyscale Territory said...

Love the tiny worlds of colour and shape in your raindrops! A stunning collection of photos!

Sara Chapman said...

Thanks for your interesting info on the raindrop thing. I will have to walk around and see what I can find. A really close macro lens must help a lot, though.

cat said...

Gorgeous shots of petals with raindrops.

Self Sagacity said...

The subject's beauty is found through the photographer. Those water drops are unbelievable. It shows you don't have to have an expensive camera to create beautiful images.

Mumsy said...

I love this series of flower, and the reflections in the water drops are fantastic.

Janet & Peter said...

wonderful shot of the raindrops. love it.

by the way, this is my first time joining. my first ever macro shot too. :D

James said...

Excellent shots! The reflections in the drops are amazing.

Maleviks Rosenträdgård said...

Great Photos :)
Håkan

Nihal said...

What a secret rosy world in a rose world, oh my. Amazing shots! Beyond the words:)

Espresso said...

The last one is fantastic :)

Ashley Sisk said...

Just found your blog through Rosie @ Center of Interest and I'm a new follower. This tutorial is so helpful and I will be using it for sure. Come by and visit my blog if you have a chance - it's all photography.

Heather said...

Thanks for sharing - great post!

Jayne said...

I just found you through Rosie at Centre of Interest. Wow, this macro photography is amazing. Great tutorial - thanks!

Stan said...

You make it sound so easy -- but, until I have tried it [and succeeded] the process seems magical. Muchas gracias!!

Míriam Luiza said...

Que fotos lindas e maravilhosas! Vou tentar fazer isso. Se conseguir, vou fazer um post e citar este seu tutorial. Abraços!

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