Using Water to Enhance Macro Images: with Diane Wittenberg

May 21, 2018 0 Comments

I love getting lost in the process of creating, and macro photography is the perfect outlet for me. It allows me to slow down, really look at my subject and focus on things that I find beautiful and unique. I’ve discovered that adding water to my floral macro images adds interest, dimension and that extra something special. Here are some things I do to accomplish just that:

1. Use a large water drop as the focal point

Once setting up my subject, I look for an area on the flower I can place a water drop where it will stay in place. I use a water dropper to place the drop, adding enough water to make it as big as I want.

2. Make it rain

I use a spray bottle in one hand to spray the flower and hold the camera in the other while holding down the shutter release. A fast shutter speed works best to capture the rain as dots rather than lines. Shooting with the subject backlit will really make the rain sparkle and create beautiful bokeh.

April Showers

3. Spray water onto your subject

By varying the size and distance of the spray on your subject, you can create a fine mist or get larger and fewer water drops on the flower. Depending on your angle, aperture and lighting, the out of focus drops can turn into some pretty amazing and sparkly bokeh. Tip: adding some glycerin to your water makes nice, round drops that last longer.

Velvety Red

Like Glitter

4. Incorporate water into the background

Oftentimes I will spray water on the background, like a piece of glass the flower is resting on. Whether it be in a fine mist or little puddles, doing so can elevate the mood and interest of the image.

5. Freeze the water

Placing flowers in a container of water and then into the freezer is another fun technique to try. The different surfaces of the ice can make for some really cool and unique images.

Flowers in ice.

Diane Wittenberg is a veterinarian, hobbyist photographer, wife to a computer programmer, and mom to two school-aged boys and one kitty boy. The beauty of nature inspires her, and whether it be a gorgeous seascape, woodland forest, colorful sunset or detail of a flower, she loves to capture it all with her camera. Although a New Yorker at heart, her home now is in beautiful Southern Oregon. Diane loves exploring new places with her family and the ocean will always be her happy place.  You can find and follow Diane’s work on Instagram here.

Emily Hamson

I'm a mom of 4 wild boys, who photographs mostly nature (partly because they don't run away or pull faces at me like my boys do). Being behind my camera is my therapy! In 2017 I decided to embark upon a personal photography project to find more creative ways to use my camera, and the CIC was born. I love to learn anything that goes along with photography, but I really love helping others learn new techniques even more!