If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a hundred times: overcast rainy days are ideal for photography, and this was shown to be true yet again the morning I took this picture. (Though I suppose you could make the argument that, given your unique style of photography, any number of other weather conditions would suit you better…but for me a an overcast and/or rainy day is the bee’s knees.) Couple the weather with a macro setup, whether true macro lens or close-up filter, and you’re good to go. That’s what happened here anyway, and what you are seeing is yet another attempt to capture the ever-elusive drop-on-a-leaf picture I have been striving for ever since I got my close-up filters. As often happens I was not seeking this specific image in particular, but happened to come across this scene as I was out with my camera one rainy morning and could hardly go on without at least attempting a shot. And I’m sure glad I did.

Though I have madeĀ a few images like this before, what I found unique to this particular setup is the fact that the big drop in the center is not really the focus of attention. Rather, it is the small image of what is being reflected in the drop that I wanted to try to highlight and all in all I think it worked out fairly well. You can’t really tell from the small image preview here but if you click through to the full-sized image on Flickr you will see that the bright white streak on the lower-left portion of the drop in the center is actually a reflection of the sky above, and what looks like the webbings on a leaf is actually the pattern created by tree limbs high above as they stretch across the clouds. This was an intentional choice on my part, and I spent a few minutes carefully focusing not really on the big drop of water but in such a way so as to get the reflection to be tack sharp.

I used my D7100 + 50mm combo to get this shot (f/8, 1/250 second, ISO 140), and screwed a +10 filter on to the end, and what I’m learning after using this setup over the past few months is just how enjoyable it is even though it’s not technically a true macro rig. I don’t have an actual macro lens, and a few filters are kind of a poor approximation of what’s required to get real high quality close-up images, but at the end of the day I’m having so much fun taking these types of shots that I just don’t care :) Whether you’re posting cell phone shots to Instagram or making fine art prints for galleries, the point is to get out there and shoot the photos you want and hopefully enjoy yourself in the process.


  1. Wonderful shot!!

  2. Simon —
    Really nice! I like how you explained not opening up the aperture to f1.4 or f1.8 to make this shot. However, what was the most instructive was listening to discuss how you framed the picture to capture the reflection in the water drop. Wow! You show that there is a lot more to photography than ‘snapping a shot’. Thank you for a great lesson today.
    Christos anesti

    • I’m glad you liked the explanation, David! It was a tricky shot to get, and I keep having to re-learn everything I thought I knew about depth of field and focusing now than I am using these close-up filters more often. It sure is fun though :)

      Alithos anesti!

  3. Jewels by the roadside.
    Gems in the stream.
    They glimmer
    and they glisten.
    They beckon
    and they scream,
    “Come off your road,
    O Traveler,
    for in us you will find.
    Treasure for your pockets
    and peace to rule your mind.”

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