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A reflected drop

By Overread  
f8, ISO 1600, 1/100sec

Ok the other day it was dim, wet and dingy.... not a good day for photography at all. Infact a horrific day for anyone without advanced flash understanding/setup or lacking a 5DM2 Not a day to do photography....

Yet photography I had to do on this day (composition practice thingy) however I also tried to get something that I have wanted to get for a while now, that of a reflection in a waterdrop. At first I tried using flash to light the scene, but even with the diffusion off my softbox I was still getting a very big rectagle highlight in the shot, not what I wanted to reflect. So I moved the flash further away and pushed the ISO right up (whilst also keeping a small aperture because macro has tiny depths of field, it was slightly windy, and I was handholding too)
Soo nearly got there, but I would welcome advice from anyone who has done these shots in the field before. I know shooting on an overall brighter day would make a massive technical improvement to the shot, but what else can I do to help get that great reflection clear and sharp whilst also retaining good lighting. Further are there are any controling tips - I have seen people with clear defined content of the waterdrop - whilst mine was more a case of just focusing till I got "something" that looked in focus in the drop.

Tags: Close-up and macro

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Brilliant image!

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Grampy 8 507 71 England
8 Dec 2009 12:22AM
I think it's fine but you might try to light what is reflected in the drop rather than the drop, it might create a nice image or not but definitly worth a try.
CathR 11 151 564 United Kingdom
8 Dec 2009 11:05AM
It's almost there Alex. I have not done this kind of shot myself so I cannot speak from experience but I have done macro shots of flowers. A couple of points from your helpful explanation give me some clues as to how you might nail your shot.

At the macro level it really makes things difficult if your subject is blowing about in the wind even a little. Of course you will tell me that these days perfectly still conditions are rare and you would be right (which is why I have practically given up doing macro flower photography in the field). But sounds like you do not give up easily so I think you just have to wait and choose your moment. If you can shield the waterdrop in some way or find a location which is sheltered, so much the better.

My other point is that it would really help I think to use a tripod. I know it's a real faff to set up especially for macro photography but if you have slightly windy conditions plus the shakiness of hand holding even at quite a fast shutter speed then blurring is always a possibility.

I would also think about your composition. I am not clear what the thing is on top of the branch. Possibly a thorn? As your depth of field is going to be so shallow I would find a clean piece of branch with nothing above to distract.

Lots of luck

Overread 9 4.1k 19 England
13 Dec 2009 12:45AM
Soo sorry for the long reply wait - I was away for a few days!

Many thanks for the comments all - certainly something to think about! The idea of lighting the subject rather than the drop itself didn't occur to me when I shot this, but its something several people have suggested now and I think it might be the right step forward in getting the shot to work with less of a highlight reflection problem on the waterdrop.

Tripod side I would have used a tripod for this - if I had brought it with me on the day - I'm scrabbling around and getting one of thsoe shoulder straps for a tripod soon because at present carrying it along with a regular bag is a pain (I have to hold it rather than the camera which means no shots). I certainly agree that such a shot would work better with a tripod.

Composition wise - yah I gotta agree there as well (its my weakest area at present so somewhere I do really have to work on). If I get another chance hopefully I can work some composition into the reflected subject as well - in this case I was just after a clearer reflection so that is why its bramble and awooden post in the reflection.

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