Photography Project 52: Week 49 – Photographing Refraction through a Crystal Ball

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This week I decided to break out a prop- a crystal ball (which raised Peter’s eyebrows when he watched me ginglerly carry it through the house, and attempt to carry it on a walk).  I love experimenting with refraction through glass, water, whatever substance will distort a subject….this week’s project was right up my alley.

I bought a “meditation” ball on Amazon, and was in business.  Everything in the house was fair game, including my husband, who after the first hour insisted on a model release, a personal trailer, and a make-up artist…..then I reminded him rookie models are professional and don’t make such demands (or complain as much).

If you decide to try this here are some tips

  • Make sure you buy a solid crystal ball – my first one was hollow.  I should have known better for the dirt cheap price.
  • Pay attention to light reflections…..its really difficult not to get window or unwanted sky reflections.  It’s almost like shooting through a fish-eye.
  • The distance from the subject matters.  It’s almost like a magnifying glass, the closer you get to the subject, the larger it will be in the ball.
  • Pay attention to your background….and the distance of your background from your subject.  You’ll be moving things around a lot to get just the right look.
  • Use a macro lens with a wide aperture.  This will allow you to get close and eliminate unwanted background.
  • Change your angle.  Move around the ball, and change your height to see what the best angle is.  Peter and I actually bumped heads trying to find the angle for the star fish picture.

Here are my best pics for the week:

1303_MFA_Crystal Ball_071 1303_MFA_Crystal Ball_061 1303_MFA_Crystal Ball_057 1303_MFA_Crystal Ball_045 1303_MFA_Crystal Ball_041 1303_MFA_Crystal Ball_030

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