Sunday, February 4, 2018

iPhone Macro Water Droplet Photography

In my last post about iPhone Macro Photography,
I showed you how to photograph snowflakes.

Read that blog post if you are new to iPhone macro work
to see what lenses I used and to learn my trick for easy focus.

Now, I want to focus on water droplets
because they pose so pretty and make GREAT subjects for
iPhone macro photography!

I could NOT stop experimenting with water droplets!

To get firm drops, I used glycerin from the tip of a toothpick,
but you can also try an eye dropper.

Look around your house for various textures
to attach a water or glycerin droplet.

Here I used a white feather that was on a Christmas ornament!

Capturing a scene inside the droplet is exciting!

I found that by placing the scene or subject from a few inches to a foot behind the drop,
I could capture it in the droplet.

First, I tried various patterned fabrics.

I love how the fabric comes into focus within the droplet,
and blurs to art in the background!

In these next few photos you see tiny drops on the droplets.

That's because I tried spritzing the glycerin drops with water
for a different effect.

Be creative and try lots of different ideas!

I sprayed these next drops with water and got an etched glass effect.

This first photo is shot with the 14X lens.

To get a wider view to include more drops...

Use the 7X lens like this next photo.  You will also get a bigger depth-of-field.

It took me forever to get all these droplets to stick
in this next photo.
Would you believe that is teensy thread?

This is where the glycerin worked much better than water.

Try tilting your camera various ways. 

You can even change the angle with the crop tool in editing.

Try using different color thread.

I also tried a thicker string and
 wanted to capture a specific object in the droplet like this:

Here was my set up.  I created an entirely white surround
using a tri-fold white foam-core board and two 
boards I found at the dollar store for the top and bottom.

Because the droplet picks up it's surroundings including the ceiling,
I wanted to keep the area all white so my subject was clear.

See my stack of colorful fabrics?
They are napkins, pillow cases, etc. I found at thrift stores.
I clipped them to the back board.

This was facing a large picture window in my kitchen for natural light.

I used two clips to stretch the string or thread .

See my spritzer bottle of water?

Then I taped my subject, the pink daisy on the white board behind the droplets.
I put glycerin in that little black cup
and dipped my toothpick into that to create the droplets.

It takes a lot of trial and error to figure out how close your subject
needs to be, and the best angle for fitting your subject into the droplet.

Perfect example of the subject becoming the blurred background!

Pay attention to how you include the background in your composition.
Here are two examples:

Using my focus method from this blog post,
I concentrated on getting the subject in focus rather
than the droplet.

                                    In this next photo, I put the droplet on a pine needle
and was thrilled to capture this just as the droplet was falling!

Here is an example of getting the droplets in focus...

Here's that same shot with the subject in focus.
Both make for a pretty you get to choose which you like best.

I was determined to capture a snowflake!

This is not a real snowflake, 
I taped up a Christmas ornament against blue fabric.

Shooting in the BURST mode,
I was able to capture this great shot of
the droplet just beginning to fall!

I also wanted to photograph some hearts for Valentine's Day
and that's when I realized that the droplets act much
like a crystal ball...they turns the subject upside down.

So, I taped tiny hearts upside down so inside
the droplet they were right side up.

Notice the taped-up heart in the background is upside down!

I picked up a pot of pink daisies from the grocery store,
and played with the water droplets.

Look!  There's a daisy in the water droplet!
I purposely placed the daisy in the background.

I wanted to explore different lighting, so I took these next
photos on the desk in my office with the light from
a lamp.  I used a black piece of paper in the background
 for a different mood.

The glycerin was too heavy for the fragile flower petals,
so I spritzed with water and love the roundness of the droplets!

While shooting this next photo without my
all white surround,
you can see my desk in the droplet and it's not that interesting.

So I moved one of the daisy heads behind the drop and this is
much prettier.

Be aware of what you are capturing in your drop.

Try different angles, backgrounds,
and lighting!


With the narrow depth of field,
don't worry about getting the
entire drop in focus.

Let the lens create art by
revealing just a hint of focus.

I moved my photos into Photoshop, adjusted saturation,
contrast and sharpened a bit.

I love playing with textures! 

The textures really turned my macro photos into art!

Macro iPhone photography is addicting!

I can't stop photographing water droplets!!!!

I love that I can macro indoors with just a few props from around the house
and any lighting will work.

Enjoy this creative venture!

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