Lord V PRO 9:40am, 5 October 2006
Thought I'd just put together a quick tutorial on how these are done.

You need to be shooting at around 2:1 to do them (100mm macro lens with 68mm of ext tubes is fine), although I'm normally shooting at about 3:1.
Need your camera rig , probably a dry mat ,a small daisy type flower about 2 to 3cms in diameter and a nice heavy early morning dew on your grass :). I use the camera in manual with ETTLflash manual focus, F10-F11 ,1/200th ISO200

Put the mat down carefully on the grass and kneel on it and try to spot an interesting dewdrop (smaller than about 2mm in diameter preferably) or group of dewdrops. Carefully place the flower about 2cms behind the drop in a vertical position and then find the dewdrop in the view finder.If you need to move the flower- remember it's upside down when viewed through the dewdrop. The camera is normally resting on my hand as low to the ground as I can get it. Take several pics whilst moving the camera forward very slightly until you have covered the focus points of all the dewdrops themselves in good focus and also the refracted images in good focus.
You need to make sure you are keeping the FOV the same and do not rotate the camera whilst taking the shots.

You then need to focus stack the images using combinez5 (see for details)

Below are the three pics I used in a recent image and the last shot is the focus stacked version. Notice that the focus is only very slightly different in the pre-stacked shots.

tutorial pic #1

tutorial pic #2

tutorial pic #3

Focus stack of all 3 images
Dewdrop flower refraction #2

Brian V.
excellent tutorial, you do such great work thanks for sharing :)
shkassa 12 years ago
Many many thanks for the tutorial.
I will try this morning.
Thats a Flickr-Spirit.. Need to jump outside..
Spookygonk 12 years ago
Wow, that's excellent. We're having so much rain in the UK at the moment, it will be easy to try this out!
MontyGreenman 11 years ago
Well, next time we get some Rain here in Melbourne I'llhave a go...

On the focus stacking: What aperture are you using? would it be possible to extend the exposure, use a tripod and get enough DOF that way?
Lord V PRO 11 years ago
Heard about the lack of rain problems you have and smoke haze from bush fires- hope you get rain soon.
You can try using a smaller aperture than around F8-F11 I use for these shots but you will lose some sharpness due to diffraction softening.
If you have the patience and are careful you should be able to get both the drop and flower in focus by carefully moving the flower until you get the focal point of the dew drop (likely to be further back from the drop).
Brian V.
MontyGreenman 11 years ago
Neat, Thanks :) Don't know if I have the patience yet, but I think I will be getting a spray bottle to try creating my own dew :)
mdbassman 11 years ago
Darn fine tutorial "LordV". You do exceptional work and it is a pleasure to see someone take the initiave to "coach' us in "How To". Thanks!
Fir.. 11 years ago
Wow, this is an amazing tutorial. Thanks so much for sharing all the info.
Seluma PRO Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Seluma (member) 11 years ago
Brian, thank you, and congratulations! I have been playing with the stack technique and the dewdrop technique, but not both together, yet. And then yesterday my April edition of Practical Photography finally made it to the States, and I was thrilled to see your work and mini-tutorial. Thanks again!
maycos60 11 years ago
Brian, thank you for sharing the info.
Hi Gareth Davies 11 years ago
Beautiful, thanks for sharing the insight on how to do this.
mrselfdestruct0 11 years ago
Brian, you are the Lord of the Macro. Your photos amaze me, and this particular shot is absolutely stunning!

Lord V! I'm a big fan of your work. I would like to thank you for taking your time to explain how you go about your beautiful dewdrop refractions. I'm quite impatient to try with dewdrops... instead I tried with a soap poof net =P.

Though it's not perfect (had a hard time with "slice focus" as my eye sight is becoming really poor), I did try a few shot and I dedicate them to you for being such an inspiration and for sharing your secret!

Bunch of Sunflowers

Just a drop

Flowery eyes

Peacock refraction
Lord V PRO 11 years ago
Thanks orangecrazy- that worked beautifully- might have to try that myself :)

Brian V.
Olga_Jones 10 years ago
Thank you!!!
Taunya S photography 10 years ago
Wow, that was a great tutorial. I am gonna have to try both the Lord V and Orangecrazy versions. That is so neat. Thanks for sharing that.
dkian2000 10 years ago
Thanks for your excellent tutorial. I have learn a lots on that.
sleepymoondesign 10 years ago
Do you think i would be able to pull something like this off with a Olympus FE-340/x-b55/C-560
Lord V PRO 10 years ago
zoelver not sure what magnification that camera/lens system is capable of but if you can get to about 0.6:1 (equivalent to 2:1 with a 1.6crop DSLR) then yes you could but I suspect the focusing could be a problem
~ Sandi ~ PRO 10 years ago
Excellent tutorial, Thankyou very mucc
Ezhil Ramalingam PRO 9 years ago
Great tutorial, Brian. Thanks a lot.
miacat63 PRO 9 years ago
Wow, what a great thing to try to achieve for ourselves. Thanks for the great tutorial.
LauriePix1 PRO 9 years ago
Thank you for posting this tutorial and the lenses that you use. This is extremely helpful! I absolutely love your dew drop refractions!
wingardium leviosa. PRO 9 years ago
Great shots! I like the 4th one best!! :))
Weidotcom 8 years ago
Hi LordV - just wondering, if you're using macro bellows, instead of moving the camera forward/back to achieve the varied FOV, is it the same effect if you moved the lens fwd/back using the macro bellow's rail? cheers
Lord V PRO 8 years ago
I think as long as the bellows movement is not too big it should be fine doing that. Either method results in FOV/magnification differences which are corrected by the stacking software
PRotography YORK 8 years ago
Great tutorial.
PaPeR.cLiP PRO 8 years ago
This is terrific -- thanks for sharing!!
jermana_melody Posted 8 years ago. Edited by jermana_melody (member) 8 years ago
Canon S95says:

wonderful group, thank you guys
armand_212 7 years ago
Thank you, this is an eye opener!
Thank you so much. I love doing water drop shots and this is a big help.
Lena M. Photography 7 years ago
Thank You, Brian!! This is so awesome, and I am so excited to have found your tutorial. I just got two lenses, and am wondering how suitable they would be for achieving the dewdrop refractions...

One is a Minolta Maxxum AF 50mm 1.7 and the other a Tamron 70-300mm TeleMacro.

I look forward to your reply! Have a great weekend.
Lord V PRO 7 years ago
Lena - you really need to be shooting at 2:1 magnification or higher for these type of shots.
You may be able to fit the Tamron on your camera, set it between 100mm and 150mm focal length and reverse mount the 50mm lens onto the front of the tele lens. This should give you a suitably high magnification but the focus point will be very close to the front of the reversed lens. You can find reverse mount male/male adapter rings on ebay which match the filter sizes of your lenses.
Brian v.
George Augustine 7 years ago
Thanks LordV for taking the time to share your know how with us.I always enjoy seeing your refraction images.I should try this some day.You seem to be a specialist in refraction shots.Thanks again.Keep them coming.:-)
Lord V PRO 7 years ago
Thanks George - I just enjoy doing refraction shots.
Brian v.
DisGuyLa 7 years ago
great tutorial!
mrnickon PRO Posted 7 years ago. Edited by mrnickon (member) 7 years ago
Hi Lord V,

You mentioned using extension tubes in your set-up. Doesn't that merely decrease camera to subject distance? I thought a teleconverter was necessary to increase magnification unless you are using a reversed lens.

Lord V PRO 7 years ago
Extension tubes do decrease the working distance but they increase the magnification. A TC will preserve the working distance, give more magnification but will degrade the image IQ more than ext tubes.

Brian v.
Shane_Anthony 7 years ago
Lord V great tutorial, i like the end result, i am now inspired to give this a go, thanks heaps.
martinjamescook 7 years ago
Lord V, love your work. Very inspiring. Here is a self portrait I have managed. Not tried focus stacking as of yet

The Anaesthetist
Lord V PRO 7 years ago
Like it Martin
Thanks Lord V, I will be giving this a try soon :)
Peter van Rens 5 years ago
I linked to this thread in our G+ macro community. Thanks.
jeandeboo1 5 years ago
thanks for this Brian, brgds Jean
Groups Beta