Refraction and water drops

March 25, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

This week I fancied getting out and about to take some pictures. However, the weather has been really bad of late. Not bad in the exciting / photogenic way, but more of the nondescript cold /sleet/grey finger numbing, gear soaking type. Definitely not the start to Spring that we had last year. With this in mind I decided to have a play with my macro lens. After the cats got bored with being models (Some new additions to my 'cats' gallery) , I had a go at some water droplet / refraction shots. I  firsly ventured briefly outside to find some dew drops, and managed to get this inverted shot of my house.DSC02807






II then tried to replicate this in the warmth indoors, but found it very difficult to make water comply. After a bit of googling, I found the concensus was to either use a mist sprayer to help accumulate the drips more evenly, or use Glycerine. The latter being the material of choise due to it's 'gloopiness' hence bigger and slower drops.


I picked some up on Ebay for a couple of quid, and using a syringe from a brake bleeding kit, applied some to a cocktail stick in a vice. I encapsulated the rig in a home made light box (an open box with a window cut in the side, with tracing paper over it for the wireless flash and black card on the inside) After finding my range with this, I tried to get one of my cats to comply with being a model behind the drips. Unfortunately it turns out that cats are partial to a bit of glycerine, and love playing with cocktail sticks. I'll leave the rest to your imagination.

After evicting the cat from the room, I then played about with putting a printed photo behind the drop. The refraction inverts the image, so if you want your image the right way up, you have to place your photo upside down. I left mine the right way up, and inverted the whole image afterwards to get a snow globe effect. DSC02820

I definitely plan to revisit this technique. Next time I plan to fill a punctured plastic bag with glycerine to get a more predictable drip. I should then be able to get the drops mid-flight and have some fun making mini-planets etc.

Stay tuned :)




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