Take it yourself
Use these tips to capture tiny droplets after rain or dew
DSLR A macro lens with a 1:1 magnification ratio shows up detail best. Can’t afford a macro lens? Buy an extension tube – a lightweight, hollow tube that fits between your camera mount and lens, allowing you to focus on closer objects. A tripod and shutter-release cable help combat camera shake. Compact Switch to Macro mode and use the multi-shot option to increase your chances of getting a perfectly clear image. Smartphone Try out a macro lens attachment, such as the Thinker (R649, limelens.co.za).
Switch to manual focus and use a narrow aperture (no wider than f/16). Set your shutter speed to 1/250 sec and adjust your ISO until you get a good exposure.
Create these pictures on sunny days and look for droplets hanging in the light. The stronger light will reveal better contrast and colour. Experiment with angles and distance to get the whole flower refracted clearly in the droplet. Set your camera to magnified Live View mode and manually focus until the flower in the droplet is pin-sharp. Find subjects with complementary colours (see Know your Stuff on the next page) and isolate these colours to increase visual impact. Plant a stick in the ground and tether your plant to it. This will keep it – and the water droplet on it – as still as possible.
STARTER TIP Practise at home using drops of glycerine. They last longer and allow more time to get it right. AMATEUR TIP Look for different subjects to refract such as buildings, trees or recognisable landmarks. PRO TIP Look out for insects. The combination of insect, water droplet and refracted flower within will give you incredible imagery.