Thursday, June 20, 2013

Day 15: Colorful Water Droplets

It's day 15--we are halfway there!

I admit that I rolled my eyes at the colorful water droplet challenge. I knew it could produce interesting results, but I felt that I should focus more on technique and composition than "playing around" with photography.

Then I took this.

How fun is that?

Water droplets refract the light to produce an unusual image. To do this, drop water on a piece of glass balanced above the material you plan to photograph. Using a shallow depth of field, focus on the water droplets--you will need to focus manually--so that the materials become your background.

I treated this as an experiment, photographing three different materials with the glass (from a picture frame) four different heights above them. I photographed perler beads, colored plastic beads for stringing necklaces, and mini M&Ms. I started with the glass about an inch above the perler beads, resting on the plastic container that held them. Then I moved the glass up to the height of a 28 oz. can of tomatoes, a 42 oz. canister of oatmeal, and a set of speakers. In other words, whatever pairs of items I could find to hold up the glass.

The plastic beads were larger than the other items, and I had the least success with them. The perler beads produced the best result.

I took this photo of the perler beads at the greatest height.

And this one at the lowest height.

The result are different, but each are visually interesting. I love how the water droplets look like
3-D balls floating above the bokeh.

While I was taking the photos, I thought the best results were those photos taken with the glass farthest from the beads. When I see the finished product, I prefer those taken with the glass closest to the beads.

In post-processing, I increased both the clarity and contrast, which made the water droplets stand out even more.

For tomorrow's challenge, we return to compositional elements. The goal is to take a balanced photograph. For more about achieving balance, see Photo Composition: Balance at Light and Matter.

I hope some of you try the water droplet project. I surprised myself with this one, and I like the results so much that I've already made one the wallpaper on my iPhone. What little colorful items will you choose to photograph? Please share your results at the Flotsam of the Mind Facebook page.

1 comment:

  1. Cool photos! I like the one at the greatest distance. Very neat.