Flowers in a Water Drop Project

YellowDrops-2

f9

Want some fun with your camera? This is really an easy project to do, one I struggled with for a while to try to figure out. I have seen different ways to do this on the web, but none of them worked. It just seemed people did not want to share the secret. And I know, many folks are like me and amazed by this technique. Who knew it was so darn easy? It would work on a leaf in the garden too! Click any to see larger.

Exploding-Sunflower

f22

First you will need a few things.

A camera is first and foremost and you need to be able to fix the point of focus. Auto-focus would be hit or miss, but pixels are free. The lens is probably what you have handy. I used both a macro lens and a zoom lens in these examples. This was my first try at this technique, so it takes no special talent or experience.

The tools needed are:

  • A sheet of clean window glass.

TripodSetUp

  • A tripod, unless you have nerves of steel and can handhold the camera level.
  • (4) bricks to elevate the window glass above the bowl with the floating flower.
  • A spray bottle filled with water, or an eye dropper. I did both since I like to experiment.

Bowl

  • A flower.
  • A low bowl filled with water to float the flower. You can include the bowl like I did in some images or fill the frame with the floating flower.

Rain-X

  • Rain-X, the magic bullet!

Now that you have the stuff… first order of business is apply the Rain-X to the window glass. Rain-X will let the water bead on your glass, not flatten the droplets.

Set up your bricks on end to support the glass, and place your bowl with the floating flower under the glass.  Spray or drip water droplets onto the glass. Straddle the assembly with your tripod and with camera facing downward, make sure the lens is parallel to the glass. Now take some photos. Simple no?

Small-Sunflower

This is the flower that took one for the team while it still was in the garden. I am sad when I cut the garden flowers.

These are the type of images you can get.

PurpleDrops

f5.6

PetuniaDrops

f9

There is different ways to get these images and it depends on what f-stop you pick. If you have f22 for instance, it will produce the image below. At f5.6 you get the dreamy purple image. In between at f9, gets the psychedelic image above where the actual flowers are barely more than block colors. Really cool, huh?

SunflowerDrops

f22

It is harder to get the flower-drops in the garden. The image below was taken with a zoom lens and the next image taken with a macro lens.

Hostadrop

What makes taking these shots more difficult is that the flowers have to be within the right distance to reflect through the droplet. You can see a tiny inverted Hosta flower in the image above. Below, the flower is Butterfly Weed.

Using the glass setup allows you to position the flower at the right distance. I guess you could always cut a flower and position it in the garden, but that is too tricky in my book. Have fun with this and make sure to tell me if you try it out.

Leafdrip

I hope you get a chance to enter to win the pretty travel Eco Bag on How I Get Photos in Yucky Light. Just leave a comment with a guess because the next post is Using a Flash in Your Garden Photos in the series Taming the Light. The winner will be selected. Still time to get in a guess.

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About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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60 Responses to Flowers in a Water Drop Project

  1. Patrick says:

    As we say in Oz…Bloody brilliant, babe.

  2. Eulalia says:

    wonderful

  3. Toni says:

    Hi! I love these water droplet pics! So colorful…thanks!

  4. yourothermotherhere says:

    They are so neat!

  5. Wow…this is great..and something to put on the list to try out! Your photography is amazing as always Donna. Thanks for the how-to.

  6. Hope says:

    How cool is that? Thank you. I love that!

  7. Kevin says:

    This post is full of awesomeness! I love the result. Thanks so much for sharing this technique.

  8. That is a neat trick indeed.

  9. these images are wonderful, and you are so great for showing us step by step! all works for me until the step about rain x! perhaps in a city, but i doubt if i’d find this in a rural area! seeing your images is good enough for me. they’re top of the class!

  10. Stunning! Thank you for sharing the secret. I’ll definitely try this.

  11. Donna, these are so beautiful, I am speechless!! Seeing all these flower drops…WOW!!!
    MAGIC! Have a wonderful Sunday, my friend! xx
    🙂

  12. connie661 says:

    So changing the f stop affects the color?

  13. ginnietom says:

    very nice experimental photoshop…

  14. Just beautiful, Ive been meaning to do one of these shots for ages; your tips are brilliant thanks so much for sharing. I love the yellow and pink combination its stunning.x

  15. Very cool! I am going to try this fun experiment. It does make for some artistic shots.

  16. Aww I feel the same about cutting my garden flowers, he really took one for the team well its stunning!

  17. A.M.B. says:

    How neat! I am sad when I cut flowers in the garden, too, but at least this flower was cut for a good cause.

  18. Absolutely superb pics. I definately want to try this out. Nice work!

  19. alex19alex says:

    Great effect! Really like it! I will try it out soon! Thank You for shering the experiment details.
    I follow your blog with pleasure!

  20. What a wonderful tutorial…camera technique is something I would love to improve.

    • It really took no special camera technique other than setting the camera on manual. But setting on Aperture Priority might work too, depending on how much light you have. I did it outside, so I had natural light. Inside f22 would be more difficult unless you have a very slow shutter speed or high ISO.

  21. I like your macros in this post the best. You are tricky! 😉

  22. catmint says:

    thanks for sharing this Donna. I love it when I manage to take photos that look like abstract art, but it happens accidentally. This idea appeals to me because it looks great but also because it’s a way of getting to know the camera better.

    • This process will be no accident. It is easy and not hard to set up since much is just stuff around the house. My husband uses the Rain-X on the car windows, so that was around the house too.

  23. Thanks for doing the leg work and giving us the scoop 🙂

    It is raining today so I will try and capture something natural maybe. I am with you I hate cutting flowers 🙂

  24. Love when a water drop kisses the fauna and flora – Beautiful Captures:)

  25. I was saving this post until I had time to really read it, amazing. Did you ever go look at the blog where the photographer freezes the flowers? I think I sent you a link, Studiology it’s called.

  26. Bom says:

    Disgusting, unsanitary diver tip: For a very, very small surface (usually the size of a diving mask lens) you can use saliva. Hahaha. Spit, spread and rinse. Okay, this may be TMI so feel free to delete. 😀

  27. connie661 says:

    nice.

  28. I love seeing these photos and they are so clever…who knew they could be easily replicated…of course I am not so sure it will be so easy for me.

  29. Fergiemoto says:

    Wow, those are great! Thanks for the advice!

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