How to Create Colored Raindrops in Photography
We can take photographs of much more than just raindrops falling off plants or onto windows. Because raindrops have the ability to reflect and refract images of the objects around them, we can create the illusion of colored raindrops fairly easily.
Let's start with raindrops on windows. Remember how we said earlier that using the widest aperture possible allows us to obscure the background and focus on the drops themselves? Each raindrop acts like a miniature lens against the backdrop behind it.
By obscuring the actual background image, you can cause it to be reflected into the raindrops themselves. Let's say you have a green forest with a blue sky behind your window -- obscure the background enough and you can cause the raindrops to appear blue and green against a dark background.
Think of it as creating a sort of optical illusion. You can experiment with lots of different backgrounds to generate different effects, like the reflection of a blue object in the raindrops against a light background. This creates the appearance of blue raindrops falling on glass.
In addition, it's possible to reflect whole images in the raindrop. Let's say you're taking a photograph of a raindrop falling off the petal of a flower, and you want to reflect another object in the raindrop -- in this case, another flower. One way to do this to use a device called a Plamp, a plastic arm-like instrument that attaches to your tripod and is used to hold items in place for picture-taking.
First, focus your macro lens on the center of the raindrop falling off the petal, where the image will appear. Take the second flower and attach it to the Plamp. Now move the flower and Plamp to where it's in a straight line between your camera and the drop. It should be in focus in your viewfinder.
You can also experiment with different images on the Plamp to be reflected in your raindrop. The sky's the limit!
For more raindrop photography tips and information about other related subjects, follow the links below.
- Adler, Lindsay. "Raindrop Reflections." Shutterbug. (Dec. 16, 2010) http://shutterbug.com/newsletter/033010raindrop/
- EPhotozine.com. "Photographing raindrops." (Dec. 17, 2010) http://www.ephotozine.com/article/Photographing-raindrops-15052
- Greenspun, Philip. "Macro Photography: how to take close-up pictures of small things." Photo.net. (Dec. 16, 2010) http://photo.net/learn/macro/