Capture the world
James Paterson demonstrates how to create amazing water droplet globes
Exploit water’s light-bending properties to capture the planet in a drop
Light moves more slowly through water than it does through the air. This causes the light rays to bend at the point where they move between the two media. The phenomenon is called refraction, and it offers lots of opportunities for creative projects. A drop of water, for example, will refract the light from the scene behind, turning it upsidedown and bending it.
Here we’ll show you how to create a tiny globe by positioning a map behind a drop of water. To capture falling drops clearly you’ll need to shoot in a dark room using a Speedlight, so that the drops are frozen by the burst of light. Whenever a flash is used it’s a good idea to get it off the camera and fire it remotely (see previous page). We’ve positioned the flash behind and to the side here, then used Nikon’s Flash Commander mode, which triggers the Speedlight using the camera’s pop-up flash.
A macro lens is essential to get in close enough to fill the frame, and you’ll also need a tripod to keep the camera still. You’ll have to tweak the position of the map and water, and you might need to shoot a few frames to get the timing right for a perfect drop, but the results are worth it!