Ladybug and water droplets refracting cosmos flower - focus stacked
This image took some planning and prepping. I was staying home that day and no extra money was spent to set this up. I wanted to do something more than just droplets with refraction. This time I wanted to add a live subject to the scene. I went into my yard and searched for the props I would need for my staged setup (stem, flower, insect). None of my plants in the garden really had a very good water beading quality to them, so I worked with what I had. The stem is from a poppy flower and the flower used for the refraction is a Cosmos flower. I laid the stem across the top of 2 cups I had to create this path. I carefully placed the droplets and hoped that they stayed in place and were pretty round. It took multiple attempts due to the poor beading quality of the surface. Placing the flower from behind took a few attempts as well to get the refraction in perfect placement. As soon as it was ready I placed one of the ladybugs on the stem. I tried a few attempts with a few ladybugs and finally got a good shot. This final lady was placed on a droplet and just kinda hung on for a few seconds. It was just enough to capture several frames. To get good focus on all of the droplets, I took hundreds of shots handheld. Out of those shots, I chose 6 frames and focus stacked them in photoshop. Gear: Sony A77 II, Sigma 105mm macro lens, Sony speed light with 9” softbox diffuser.