I made my own attempt to do some macro water drop photography and here is what I found out. Although I played around with a bit of close-up photography as a young boy interested in nature, you can definitely label me as a macro photography beginner.
This self-given photography project was designed to capture macro photos of still water drops, not the freeze motion kind that have gotten so much attention in the world of macro photography lately.
These photos were done as still life photos with the idea of learning a bit more about creating and lighting the water drops and their backgrounds. Controlling the background really makes a difference with macro photography. You can move your shooting angle the smallest amount and significantly change the background and get a completely different image.
I used my Canon DSLR and a set of macro extension tubes and experimented with several of my lenses to see which one would give me the best results. I set up on a billiards table which has lots of room on it and around it for props, lights, reflectors, and any other accessories I want to have handy.
I am a lighting geek when it comes to portraits and outdoor macro shots and just about always use soft diffused light for my macro images of nature.
These photos were shot inside in the basement where no natural lighting exists.
When I am shooting still life and indoor macro photos I often use utility lights and bounce them off of the ceiling, a wall, or white foamcore. They come as free-standing like this one pictured and also on secure light stands.
Warning: these are 250 and 500-watt lamps and get extremely hot. I like them because they are so bright and give me lots of lighting for higher apertures and good shutter speeds.
This macro water drop photography was accomplished with 3 macro extension tubes and a couple of regular non-macro lenses. These macro photos of water drops are not true macro by definition because they don't have a 1:1 magnification factor, but they are still close-ups.
The bunch of sunflowers were placed just a few inches behind this very small drop of glycerin and water. Water drops are just like glass when it comes to lighting and they act like little focusing lenses for the background.
I've obtained a syringe as another accessory to use and am returning to the basement to play around some more. Be back soon.....
Have a blast!