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How beautiful to photograph water droplets on flowers?

Hello! You saw similar photos of flowers on the Internet where drops of water sparkle and glow. But how are they made?

I will not touch on the technical aspects of macro photography (in short – almost any camera will do, and you can even try an iPhone). Instead, I’ll tell you my experience of catching glare. In addition, I’ll immediately make a reservation that the physicist is so-so from me. But there is some experience, and, I hope, it will be useful to many.

First of all, let’s recall the optical properties of water droplets. If they simplify the subject to the utmost, they are biconvex lenses that conduct through themselves and focus the light, and the focal length of all the drops will be approximately the same. This means that the light passing through the drop will be focused to a point at a certain distance from it and create the illusion of a bright point flare. From here there are 2 conclusions:

Light should not shine from above. I explain: the light incident from above will focus the sun’s rays below, i.e. on the leaves of the plant. Such drops will not look beautiful on photographs. By the way, it is midday light in the southern regions that can cause burns to the plant, keep this in mind.
Choosing the right distance to your flower, you will make it the most striking and eye-catching, because it is his drops that will most accurately focus the light passing through them onto the lens of your camera.
And now you already know half of the recipe: you need to place a light source on one side, a camera on the other. In other words, a flower is between you and the sun. In this case, it is desirable that the Sun was not visible in the lens, and instead of it in the background would be some kind of heterogeneous color background. Look at this diagram, and everything will become a little clearer. Green lines indicate the viewing angle of your camera.

In addition, you need to choose the distance from the camera to the object (flower) – if you are too far away, the drops will not be so pronounced, and if too close, then the depth of field may not be enough. I took these pictures on Tokina 100 2.8 macro in conjunction with the Nikon d600, and in my case, the distance to the flowers was optimal, provided that the size of the object did not exceed 10-12 cm in height. If you have a macro lens with a focal length of 40-60mm, the result will be different – the background bokeh will become sharper. However, the drops should be good. But if you have a pseudo-macro (for example, a telephoto focusing from a meter), then it is unlikely that the drops will turn out quite well – removing them from a long distance, you will not get focused glare.

Empirically, I came to the conclusion that the best drops are glare, if you photograph flowers from 15-40 centimeters.

Next, you need to take care of the depth of field you need. Taking flowers with my lens, I covered the aperture to f / 11-13. If you open it wider, the DOF turned out to be very small, nothing really got into it. For wider-angle lenses (40-60mm, for example), the aperture can be opened a little wider, because there is more DOF. In any case, for macro this parameter is more experimental. There is no ready-made recipe.

How to photograph flowers in drops of water

And finally, you will need drops. Of course, you can wait until the rain passes and the sun comes out, but there are simpler options:

When shooting in rainy cloudy weather, instead of the Sun, you can shine with a powerful flashlight (700 lumens or more). The flashlight will also help to focus more accurately. That is why I do not like the flash – when it is behind the subject, it does not help focus.
When shooting in sunny weather, you can take a spray bottle and a liter and a half of water with you. Pshikat on your flower, fill the background behind it, well, take pictures =)
For this photo I just used a spray bottle. Spraying small drops, photographed flowers according to the scheme described above. Thus, all of these airborne sprays became visible.

Photo of a bluebell with artificial dew

For this photo, I used a powerful 1000 lumen flashlight, which was installed as shown in the diagram above. Tokina 100 2.8 macro lens, Nikon d600, f13 camera.

How to photograph macro flowers in drops

And in this frame you can see the lantern itself, located behind the flower – it fell into the frame in the upper right corner. Thanks to this, it was possible to achieve such bright and focused glare from each drop. The number of rays on the drops corresponds to the shape of the lamp (it was octagonal). For such frames, the front lens of your lens should be perfectly clean.

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