Tips For Glass Ball Refraction Photography

Go and search for glass ball photography on the internet. I can now imagine you brimming with awe, gazing on these magnificent works of photography art. And there is no shame on that! They just look so magical and at the same time, also extremely cool. Now that you have been reminded of how awesome reflections in photography can really get, you may now be wondering, can I try it out for myself? At first glance you’d think that only those who have great skill in photography can pull glass ball refraction photography off, but no. With a few practices, you too can produce them.

The magic of glass ball photography lies heavily on how the photographer uses refractions on his or her masterpiece. When used well, refraction creates a compelling and gripping image that will undoubtedly leave your audience asking: “How did you do that?” “Wow! Is that for real?” “Did you edit this?” One look at your photograph and you’d catch them in admiration as well as genuinely curious. And because we stated that you too could do glass ball photography like the best of them, here are some tips to help you do just that.

Refraction, What Is It?

Refraction, as defined by our dictionaries, is the fact or phenomenon of light, radio waves, etc. which is being deflected in passing obliquely through the interface between one medium and another or through a medium of varying density. In simpler terms, refraction occurs when light passes through an object of denser mass, such as water or glass. Light is bent whenever refraction happens, and thus, creating a distortion. Something magical – glass ball photography is made when you take a photo of a transparent spherical object with refraction in it. What you would get once you click on the shutters of your camera is actually an inverted image of the scene behind the ball itself.

How To Do Glass Ball Photography

Now that we have been refreshed on what and how refraction actually works, it is now time to get to the good part. It is now time to learn how to apply it to your very own photography skill set. Here are some tips, guides, and tricks you can utilize for you to create your own glass ball refraction masterpiece:

  •   How to deal with upside down images

There just comes a time where you would be needed or even forced to work with an upside down image in the background or inside the ball itself. The best way to avoid this is to simply blur it out using the bokeh. Alternatively, you can blur out the background by using reflection instead. The reflected image will be the right way up inside the ball.

  •   Get On Top Of Your Subject

Always get your ball off the ground so it will always be level with the subject you are currently eyeing on for your photographs. Remember that a centered subject in the ball will have less distortion and more impact in the frame. But just like everything else, there are exceptions to this rule too. For example, leaf beds and puddles. They work better when the ball is placed right in them.

  •   Completely Fill Up Your Glass Ball With The Chosen Subject

Get right in there with your subject, if not, it may appear disappointingly small inside your glass ball. The best advice we can give you with regards to this is to see if your scene would be able to fill up the wide angle lens. Do so, and you are good to go now.

  •   Remember To Choose The Correct Lens

With regards to glass ball refraction photography, it is best to use a macro lens or a telephoto lens with macro capability. By choosing the macro lens, you will be enabled to get close to the ball, which then makes it easier to create bokeh around it. Alternatively, using a wider angle lens can also work well if your scene allows it so.

  •   Remember To Choose The Correct Aperture

Your lens isn’t the only one that should be always in the correct. Remember to always keep in check of your aperture as well. An aperture that’s too small will not be able to blur out the background of your ball while a too large one will make it hard to get a sharp image inside of it. Know the scale of what aperture would fit in your desired subject and the photograph that you want to achieve.

  •   Always Place Your Ball On The Safest Position Possible

It goes without saying that you should always keep in mind where you position your glass ball. This is very important, especially if you are taking a photo from a high vantage point than usual. Always place your ball sitting on a flat surface. Better yet, find a crevice wherein you can securely place it on. Once you have placed the ball, always be sure that it isn’t going to fall and keep your hands near it on the duration of the session. In the instance that there is no place for you to rest the ball, you can ask a friend if they will be willing to hold the ball for you. Be wary of windy days, a sharp blow of wind or gust can move your ball if not secured on its place.

  •   Light Your Subject In Front Of The Ball 

Just like in any type of photography, it is of your best interest to always keep your subject well lit. And no surprises, it is even more critical with refraction photographs. A strongly lit subject will shine beautifully through the ball with less reflection appearing on the ball. We recommend that you look to photograph when the sun is behind you or during blue hour shooting towards lit buildings.

Keep these tips and tricks in mind and we assure you that you’d be taking awe-inspiring glass ball photographs in no time. What do you know? Maybe you’d even take better quality pictures than those which you saw from your search at the very beginning? The list of subjects you may use is truly endless. Start with a simple one, then climb the ranks to the more complicated.

Get fresh Hathart content and unique products delivered right to your inbox.

Leave a Reply