Friday, 23 August 2013

Dewdrop Flower Refraction Tutorial

Guest Post by: Brian Valentine

Thought I'd just put together a quick tutorial on how these are done.

photographing a flower refracted on a dewdrop
Photo by: Brian Valentine This is a focus stack of the three images given below.

Equipment Requirements

You need to be shooting at a magnification of around 2:1 to do them (100mm macro lens with 68mm of ext tubes works fine), although I'm normally shooting at about 3:1.

Need your camera rig , probably a dry mat ,a small daisy type flower about 2 to 3cms in diameter and a nice heavy early morning dew on your grass :).

Camera Settings

I use the camera in manual with ETTL flash manual focus, F10-F11, 1/200th ISO200.

How to Photograph a Flower Refracted on a Dewdrop

Put the mat down carefully on the grass and kneel on it and try to spot an interesting dewdrop (smaller than about 2mm in diameter preferably) or group of dewdrops. Carefully place the flower about 2cms behind the drop in a vertical position and then find the dewdrop in the view finder. If you need to move the flower- remember it's upside down when viewed through the dewdrop. The camera is normally resting on my hand as low to the ground as I can get it. Take several pictures whilst moving the camera forward very slightly until you have covered the focus points of all the dewdrops themselves in good focus and also the refracted images in good focus.

You need to make sure you are keeping the Field Of View  the same and do not rotate the camera whilst taking the shots. You then need to focus stack the images using combine z5 or Photoshop.

Below are the three pictures I stacked to make the one featured on top. Notice that the focus is only very slightly different in the pre-stacked shots.

Image 1

flower on a dewdrop photography

Image 2

photographing flower on a dewdrop

Image 3

photographing water drops with flowers inside