Macro photography enthusiasts often rejoice at the sight of a rainy day, knowing that having beads of water in their compositions can completely change the mood of a close-up image. In this video, Ray Scott of Visual Art Photography Tutorials demonstrates how to incorporate a single water droplet as the dominant compositional element in your macro images.
Scott uses an eyedropper to carefully place a water droplet on the petal of a flower that he photographs. By changing the aperture, placement of the water droplet, and shooting angle, he creates images that convey different messages. A wide aperture produces a shallow depth of field and places stronger emphasis on the droplet, while a narrow aperture reveals more detail in the petal on which the droplet is sitting. Photographing the droplet from above produces a completely different look compared to shooting at a low angle along the plane of the petal. Water droplets can also be used to refract light from surrounding elements, producing a crisp image of, for example, an entire flower contained within the droplet.
This water droplet technique can also be applied to other objects besides flowers. Even in the absence of rain, throwing an eyedropper into your camera bag the next time you get the itch to experiment with macro photography will help you to create more compelling compositions.