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Photography With Water Drops & Candy

Updated on September 12, 2016
LuisEGonzalez profile image

I enjoy photography and have been doing so professionally and independently for over 30 years.

used by permission
used by permission | Source

For a more detailed(and scientifically sounding) explanation of what refraction is , please visit this Wikipedia article.

Talk about a cool ,easy to do and fun photographic project. As you know water drops can absorb a reflection and these reflections (actually they are called refractions) are readily seen with the naked eye.

But take a macro or do a close up and they become even more visible and can lead to great and fun photo projects which you can do right at home with no major set ups involved.

Perfect for inclement weather when you really feel like taking pictures. The best part though is that you can indulge in a sugar rush and eat the candy afterwards.

Used by permission
Used by permission | Source
  • Simply put you take a clear and very clean glass panel which you mount on top of a table, cardboard boxes or whatever you have at hand.

Just make sure to leave an clear space through which you can see the floor when looking at it from above.

  • Below the glass panel you set a bowl in whatever color fits your fancy and fill it with colorful candy pieces, M&Ms or colored glass beads.

Whatever you wish so long as they are colorful enough. The M&Ms work great because they have the logo stamped right on the hard candy shell and this logo is seen in the final pictures.

  • You may wish to rest the candy bowl on a colorful piece of cloth. White and black seem to work best but any color will do. Avoid striped or patterned ones as their designs might interfere with the final image view.

  • Next you set up a light source above the set up to ensure that it illuminates the candy bowl but leave enough space for you to crouch above the set up and take the pictures.

The light source can be aimed at a 45 degree angle and it will still offer enough light to do the job.

  • Use a manual aperture of the lowest that your lens allows to blur any glass edges, table edges any floor detail and so on. | Source

In essence every water drop will reflect an exact copy of what's below it and this reflection will be multiplied by however many drops you have on top of the glass panel.

  • To add the drops it is better to add them with the aid of a water droplet. Spraying them might work but the spray tends to diffuse the water too much.

Sprinkling the drops by simply dropping water is the same as with the spray. It is better to create a waterdrop field that is not too large but large enough to allow the image to fill the entire frame of your lens.

Will you try this at home?

See results
  • Make sure to turn on the light source when you are ready to begin taking photos so that you avoid the risk of causing the water to evaporate.

Also it is better to do this indoor away from a strong breeze for the same purpose.

  • Use a tripod if you can to avoid movement or camera shake which can result from simply depressing the shutter.

You need to achieve 100% sharp images and avoiding any blur is the goal. A Mechanical release is also recommended for the same reason. | Source
  • Keep in mind that if you are using something else besides candy, glass beads or M&M's and it is a subject which offers a recognizable shape or form like a picture or poster, you should place it upside down because the refraction "turns" whatever it catches upside down.

Using candies or M&M's is great because no matter how you place them they look the same.

  • A good platform to review results prior to photographing the real thing is to take some test shots using your smartphone or simple digital camera and check for possible improvements.

Once you are satisfied that the setup is complete and ready then switch back to your DSLR camera.

  • For an added effect you can use two glass panels; stack one above the other but keep them separated by using something to raise the top one from the bottom one.

Add the water drops the same way for both. This way you create a three dimensional effect. | Source

© 2016 Luis E Gonzalez


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    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 17 months ago from Miami, Florida

      elayne001: thank you

    • elayne001 profile image

      Elayne 17 months ago from Rocky Mountains

      Thanks for the ideas and tutorial. I would love to try it!