If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll know that I’ve been photographing water drops. And that for me, each water drop is a world, as Blake put it, in a grain of sand. (Here’s a fairly complete selection of my water drop photos on Flickr.)
The two photos in this story are among my favorites of my recent water drop worlds. Everything seems to come together in the photograph of a single drop above: sharp focus on the drop, a nice sunburst, and a nice inner world showing the white Scabiosa atropurnea (“Snow Maiden”) that hosts the water drops and shows drops within the drop.
The photograph below shows a cosmos full of water drops, each caught by the thin filament of a spider’s web, and on and on into an apparent infinity.
Both photographs were captured with the same gear, and roughly the same setup. That is, my wonderful Nikon D200, my stupendous Nikkor 200mm f/4 macro lens, a 36mm extension tube and a +4 diopter close-up filter, mirror lockup, and a remote trigger. The single drop (above) was exposed at f/36 for 0.2 of a second, and the multiple drops (below) at f/40 and 0.8 of a second (both ISO 100).
To digress for a second, the 200mm f/4 Nikkor macro is as heavy as big telephoto lens (which it kind of is at 300mm 35mm equivalence). One of the things about it that really makes my life easier is the built-in tripod collar. The tripod collar lets me shift the center of gravity forward on the tripod (by mounted the lens rather than the camera). It also lets me change the orientation of the photograph by loosening the screw that holds the collar in place and rotating the lens. Meaning that I don’t have to move the camera at all. A big, expensive, special purpose lens. But well worth the price if you do much macro work.
View this photograph larger.