Flower photography enthusiasts all know that water drop is the best ornament of flower photography, which can not only make flowers more beautiful, but also make the color more pure and saturated, making the works more touching. Therefore, we say that the key to good photos is to show the commonness of the subject in a new way. There are countless flower photos circulated on various media platforms every day, but few works can be truly unique and stand out. Flower photography needs to break the conventional shooting methods and techniques to make the works look a little different. We learn from the shooting method of water drop flowers, using soda water combined with flowers to shoot, this shooting method will challenge your photography skills. But it can help you learn how to compose a picture, how to illuminate the main body of a flower, learn how to Edit later, and finally create interesting images. Most importantly, you’ll have fun shooting.
the above works show that these tulips are placed in a vase filled with soda water. Under the strong backlight, the tulips are filled with sparkling bubbles, which makes people feel mysterious and different. In post production, the image is flipped vertically. Canon 6D camera and Tenglong 90mm f2.8 macro lens were used to shoot this work. The parameters are 1 / 20 second, f / 11 and ISO 200.
another benefit of shooting soda flowers can be done on the kitchen counter at home or anywhere you like to work. As long as you have soda water, flowers and glassware, you can shoot.
glass container: to avoid deformation, choose a container with a smooth side. For example, I made a fish tank out of glass. If you make it yourself, cut the glass with a standard glass knife, and then assemble the glass with transparent fish tank silica gel. Soda water: choose sugar free soda water to avoid residual sticky substances when cleaning. I mix soda and water in a ratio of 1:1. In many cases, soda ash will also produce a lot of bubbles, but it is difficult to stay on flowers. Spatula: bubbles will also form on the glass surface, which is inevitable, and can be used to easily remove them from obscuring the body. Background material: I like the elegant effect of black swan flannel, so I wrapped part of it around the back of the container. Of course, different colors can produce totally different effects. Aluminum foil: place a piece of aluminum foil under the container to reflect some light back to the subject. You can also use some foil as a reflector. Light source: I use a simple fluorescent lamp to illuminate the main body of the flower. Placing the light source at a smaller angle will make the main body of the flower clear and avoid glare on the glass. Subject: all kinds of flowers are very good, as long as the objects under your container are worth trying. The basic settings for shooting are very simple. For me, the most important part is to fix the main body of the flower in a proper position to make room for both hands. One hand operates the camera and the other uses a scraper to wipe off the excess bubbles on the glass.
shooting soda flowers is to take pictures of the main body of flowers in soda water separated by a piece of glass. Although it can produce creative works, there are two important challenges in shooting.
1. Most flowers are buoyant, and buoyancy will make them float. This means that unless you can make the flowers very stable, your subject may move. For some flowers, it’s not easy to get all into soda water. If necessary, wire the flowers to help control the position of the flowers.
2. The bubbles you are trying to photograph can also make you miserable. They constantly cover the surface of the glass, so you need to use a spatula to wipe off these bubbles before almost every shot.
Maybe not only these challenges, but also other challenges. Please be prepared for the failure of shooting. Through some practice and patience, you can shoot some very cool images.
when shooting soda flowers, I used Olympus OMD e-m1 Mark II and m. Zuiko 60mm f / 2.8 macro lens mounted on a manfuto tripod. Of course, other SLR cameras and macro lenses can also be used for shooting. Because the bubbles move, you need to pay attention to the shutter speed. I found that the slowest time can be 1 / 60 seconds, and the shooting effect will be very good. Again, the macro lens is used at close range, so I still need to know how much depth of field to reach. As we all know, all macro lenses have a very shallow depth of field. F / 8 should be enough for most flowers. For shutter speed and aperture, adjust the light source and ISO to maintain these settings.
to help ensure a higher definition of the entire image, I use the focus stack feature to shoot. By taking multiple photos with different focus, it is combined into one through later software.
when shooting in aperture priority mode, the dark background will affect the camera’s attempt to expose correctly. The camera will try to lighten the image and the subject will appear to be overexposed. Therefore, you may need to adjust the exposure compensation to reduce exposure. For the image here, I reduced the exposure value to – 0.3ev to – 1.7eV. If you use a lighter background, the opposite is true. You may have to increase the exposure value.
I tried several brands of soda, but found no significant difference between them. When shooting, you can use more than one bottle of soda, so I recommend the cheapest, because it won’t affect the final image.
you can use various carbonates or sodas. What you are looking for is foam. There are no rules here, so use a soda that suits your shooting needs.
soda water, which is very suitable for this purpose, should be transparent, has good carbonation effect, and does not add sugar, and will not waste time due to cleaning.
the glassware used depends on the image you want to take. For example, a rectangular glass vase with a smooth side is perfect for shooting soda flowers. A small glass fish tank can also be a good shot.
of course, if you’re looking for a different effect, a wine glass or a champagne glass can be used. The only thing to consider here is how the arc of the goblet does not deform the subject.
not all flowers can be photographed well. Flowers with rough surface can form more bubbles, and the shooting effect may be more interesting. It is not easy to form bubbles on the smooth and non porous flower surface. Therefore, please choose according to this feature.
the first thing to note is that bubbles are transparent and resemble glass in many ways. Therefore, great care must be taken when using it. Another important aspect to consider is exposure time. Bubbles are constantly moving, especially when flowers are immersed in soda water for the first time. In order to deal with this problem, you can do it in two ways:
2. Shoot immediately at the shutter speed of 1 / 200 or 1 / 500 when immersed in objects to prevent spots caused by bubble movement or rupture.
adjust the levels of highlights, shadows, white and black, and eliminate interference to improve the picture effect. Whatever post editing tool you choose, you can use this exercise as a self-study way to learn more about what you can do and how to do it. The tools I chose were Lightroom and Photoshop. Images with white or black background can be adjusted and promoted by adjusting the brush, histogram highlight and shadow trimming tools, as well as the flare repair tool. Generally, Lightroom can be used to do everything on its own. For more difficult copy or repair, I will use Photoshop to do it. Images with color background are more challenging. Similarly, through the adjustment, we can explore and learn how to use the later software. When editing an image with a black or white background in Lightroom, you may intentionally make the background completely black or white. Turn on the highlight, shadow clipping tool to display 100% black area in blue highlight and all white area in red. The “J” key is a shortcut to turn it on and off. You can then use adjustment brushes, auto masks, and other LR “draw” distractions. The amount of post-treatment required depends largely on the choice. I usually use a little curve adjustment in Lightroom and add a slider to enhance the color of the main body. However, the most used tools are the repair brush and copy tool. Bubbles form on glass so quickly that there are some unwanted bubbles in the image. It needs to be eliminated later. Usually when shooting soda flowers, your main body will stand upside down. Please flip the image vertically during post editing to make it more natural.
the gas in soda is CO 2, which can dissolve naturally in water. If the water is cooled, more CO 2 can be dissolved. With some pressure, more can be accommodated. This is where the bottling plant cools the water and injects CO 2 at high pressure. When the cylinder is opened, the pressure decreases and the gas escapes from the water. Shaking or heating it can make bubbles appear more quickly.
glass is not extremely smooth. At the micro level, dust, dirt, or small defects in the glass can cause changes in state, in which case, the state changes from liquid to gas and stays at these positions.
when the buoyancy of micro bubbles is large, bubbles are released and new bubbles begin to form at this position. So this happens very quickly.
the biggest reason for shooting soda flowers is that it is very interesting. By adding some bubbles and creative light, the original simple flower body will be visually different, thus arousing the audience’s interest and curiosity. So if you have to stay at home, why not find a way to creatively use your time to expand your shooting skills and make some beautiful images?