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Refraction pictures is a your of enjoyable, however how does it work? How are you able to get began capturing attractive refraction photographs?

In this text, I’m going to share loads of ideas and concepts for gorgeous refraction pictures, together with each glass refraction and water refraction pictures. I’ll additionally share loads of examples, so you understand precisely what you possibly can obtain!

So when you’re able to seize some photographs similar to this…

british flag reflection in water doplet

…then let’s get began!

What is refraction pictures?

Refraction pictures refers to photographs that seize a refraction impact, the place mild is bent in glass, water, or another floor to make a topic seem very giant, very small, or in any other case distorted.

Here’s a easy refraction picture, which makes use of a marble to refract the sunshine and make a home look tiny (notice that the picture is flipped the other way up!):

lens ball photo flipped upside down

Refraction photographs could be inventive, mind-bending, and simply all-around cool. It’s a good way to get out of your consolation zone as a photographer, and the impact is insanely straightforward to drag off as soon as you understand a number of methods.

Getting began with refraction pictures: discover a refractive object

To take a refraction picture, you’ll want an object that produces the refraction impact.

Any clear object with a mass completely different than that of air will trigger refraction, although essentially the most helpful refractive objects are spherical. And whereas it’s potential to get refraction by means of clear plastic objects, for the most effective picture high quality, I like to recommend you shoot by means of glass or water.

Here are a number of of my favourite refractive objects:

  • Marbles
  • Crystal balls (generally known as lens balls by photographers)
  • Water droplets
  • Sheets of glass
  • Wine glasses
  • Fish tanks
refracted in a droplet

This picture was taken by means of the underside of a ingesting glass. The bubbles on the backside refracted the sunshine.

Now let’s take a better have a look at a few of your choices (I share loads of ideas alongside the way in which!).

1. Try refraction pictures utilizing a glass ball

If somebody says “refraction photography,” most photographers will instantly consider a glass ball – as a result of it’s straightforward to make use of, will get nice outcomes, and is (in all probability) the most well-liked object used for the sort of picture. Glass balls are an excellent piece of additional equipment to have in your digital camera bag, and supply all kinds of inventive advantages (they usually’re comparatively low cost, too!).

I like to make use of glass balls for panorama pictures; you possibly can perch them on a rock, a automotive, and even your hand, then seize a surprising “tiny world” shot. The glass ball can be good for structure and even portrait photographs when you use it correctly.

I’d suggest pondering of the ball as an exterior fisheye lens. It shrinks and bends the scene, although it seems to amplify objects near its floor. You ought to all the time discover a steady floor – I like to recommend a wall of some kind – and ensure the ball is on the identical degree as the article you’re capturing. Whenever you go to take an image, watch the ball fastidiously. You don’t need it to roll away and break!

the lens ball flipped upside down

The Ferris wheel is refracted inside this glass ball, and the bokeh shapes complement the scene effectively. I’ve flipped the picture the other way up, too!

2. Use marbles for a distorted impact

If you want the concept of untamed distortion in your refraction pictures, then I’d suggest utilizing a marble. This is much like capturing a glass ball (mentioned above), however marbles supply a number of distinctive benefits:

  • The glass is probably not nearly as good high quality, which provides a grungier picture
  • There will probably be extra distortion and a smaller candy spot the place the picture is obvious
  • They’re considerably lighter, making them simpler to hold round
  • They’re simpler to place on a floor with out falling off, due to the smaller measurement

Also, as a result of marbles are so small and light-weight, you possibly can carry two, three, or perhaps a handful with you into the sector or the studio, which lets you incorporate a number of right into a single shot:

marbles on a line

Now, marble pictures does include a transparent drawback: marbles are small, so if you wish to benefit from the refracted picture, you need to actually use a macro lens, or not less than a lens that focuses shut.

Of course, you’re additionally free to get inventive with wider lenses and incorporate the marble(s) into the scene – it’s all as much as you!

3. Go loopy with water droplets

Water droplet pictures is finished by just about each close-up photographer, and for good purpose:

It seems to be attractive, and you may get nice outcomes from the consolation of your kitchen!

The key right here is to create giant water droplets and/or use a macro lens. The drops will refract the scene behind them, so you possibly can have a number of enjoyable positioning completely different objects within the background, reminiscent of flags, flowers, and extra.

Really, in the case of water refraction pictures, the sky is the restrict, so listed below are only a few concepts:

  1. Water droplets on a glass floor. Spritz water onto a clear floor with a twig bottle or a syringe, then add an attention-grabbing merchandise beneath, reminiscent of a flag or a flower. Get as shut as you possibly can with a macro lens, then shoot!
  2. Droplets falling from a faucet. Here, the purpose is to run a faucet, add an attention-grabbing background factor (reminiscent of a sheet of coloured paper or – but once more! – a flag), then seize refractive droplets in mid-flight. Here are some nice examples of the sort of picture. It would possibly take loads of trial and error, however the outcomes will probably be value it.
  3. Naturally occurring water droplets. You can all the time hunt round in nature for attention-grabbing droplets – reminiscent of water drops on spider webs simply after dawn, or water drops on grass or flowers after a rainstorm. Of course, when you like the concept of capturing out in nature however can’t look ahead to rain, simply use a twig bottle or syringe!
  4. Water droplets on CDs. Place water drops onto a CD utilizing a syringe. The bigger the water droplets, the higher! Then {photograph} the mini-rainbows that seem. For a inventive consequence, attempt turning the lights off, then utilizing a flashlight to mild paint whereas capturing an extended publicity.

Hopefully one or two of these refraction image concepts tickled your fancy! Here are a number of examples:

7 Tips for Doing Crystal Ball Refraction Photography

I positioned droplets onto a translucent floor, then slipped the Malaysian flag beneath!

water droplet refraction

The drop of water from a faucet is caught mid-flight.

water droplets on a CD

Water droplets look wonderful when captured on a CD!

4. Fill a wine glass with water to create some mind-bending outcomes

Wine glasses are spherical, so when you fill them with water, you’ll get a refracted picture inside the glass. And wine glasses don’t roll away, so that they’re safer than glass balls when positioned on surfaces.

You can use a wine glass for purely inventive pictures, or you should use it for portraits, landscapes, and extra. You would possibly even use the wine glass as a prop – held by a portrait topic, however refracting the complete scene.

Try positioning a crammed glass in entrance of coloured paper, like this:

refraction photography cup with paper in background

Cool, proper?

Refraction pictures: ultimate phrases

Refraction pictures is all about creativity, plus it makes for very attention-grabbing picture tasks. So head out along with your digital camera and a glass ball, seize a number of marbles, or attempt water refraction pictures.

The choices are limitless, so go wild!

Now over to you:

Are there different refractive objects you possibly can suggest? Which of those ideas is your favourite? Share your ideas (and refraction photographs!) within the feedback under!

Like it? Share with your friends!

118 shares, 140 points

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