Forest in a droplet

f/8, 1/2500 sec, ISO 5000, 135mm (200mm on crop sensor). Sony A6500

This is one of a series of attempts to capture droplets in motion, in the wild. Getting the settings right has been a challenge, as the technical shortcomings of this photo may be pretty obvious. Next time, I’ll try a shorter exposure time. This has been pushing the limits of my camera more than any other type of photography; for pretty much most other stuff, the actual camera type is less relevant.

I’ve been trying hard to make sure the image in the drop has been right, so choosing the right background took some time. I need sky in the background, too, to make the image work, so this involved lying down on the ground in the rain for about half an hour. It’s a lot of fun – not a perfect image, but I really enjoyed the process.

Unfortunately, the sun rarely shines on rainy days, but I would love to get the sun in the background too, if the chance presents itself.

What technical feedback would you like if any?


What artistic feedback would you like if any?


Pertinent technical details or techniques:


Gaurav, this is a difficult image to attempt, because of the lighting, wet grown to lie on, etc. It is fun though trying to capture rain drops, and get a refraction in them. I find that right after the rain, finding drops on limbs, leaves and flowers, etc., just as the sun has come out works best for me. Then finding droplets that have a nice refraction in them, and carefully getting the shot. In this shot I can see that you got the refraction in the bottom droplet. The lighting was tough for you and the camera, it seems.

That’s a pretty cool shot Gaurav and you made it under some difficult condtions too. I like that upside down reflection of the forest in there. I’m guessing that’s a leaf that the water is running off? So more light would certainly be helpful here and that drop along the top edge is a bit of a distraction. I wonder if you went into the woods on a sunny day (perhaps with an assistant) and brought your own rain (in a spray bottle); that would give you better lighting and working conditions too. Good luck on your future attempts on raindrop reflections!

Guarav: Tough assignment and I hope you can pull it off. This looks like a good start to me with the refractions in the drop remarkably clear. A tip o’ the :billed_cap: to you for your patience and persistence. >=))>

Thank you to everyone! I appreciate the feedback.

@Jim_Lockhart, I enjoy the process quite a bit, so the spray isn’t my style, but there are some very good photographs out there with water spray (and glycerine, I believe, can be even better in some ways).

Gaurav, You are undertaking a big challenge. Getting the image in the falling drop sharp is hard because the drops don’t always fall straight down after they release from their support and their shapes are not round. Here’s a shot from 2016, which is the last time that we had good icicles, melting in the sun. These were hanging off the eves of our house, so I was standing on a stool, using my tripod. Maybe you can, but I can’t hold the focal plane of the camera steady enough to be sure that the drop or image through the drop will be sharp. Notice that the sun helps a lot in terms of the SS and ISO (1/3200 s, f/16, iso 800, -2/3 EV). It also creates some nice sunbursts. It’s hard to get falling rain and sun at the same time. I’ve got an image in mind where I’d like to see that, but haven’t gotten the right conditions while watching for them for several years. Melting ice/snow is easier to find along with sunshine. Good luck in your quest.

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@Mark_Seaver, thank you for your comments, and I like your photo!

This has been a project for a while now. Here’s one of my favorites from a few years ago. While there’s plenty of blur of the droplet, I think that a little motion blur isn’t a completely bad thing in this particular photo, as it makes it a bit more dynamic, and contrasts with the lack of blur at the top: