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Droplet Cascade | by Don Komarechka
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Droplet Cascade

As an experiment, this was shot on my iPhone 13 Pro. No extra macro lenses, just a bit of cropping for the composition. One of the reasons I bought the newest iPhone was due to the advertised macro capabilities and, guess what? It delivers.


Granted, there’s more to this than meets the eye in the final image – here is a BTS image that was greatly supported by Platypod to create the entire environment where the image was taken:


It’s never just the camera that you use – it’s an entire ecosystem of equipment, knowledge, technique, and creativity. You can read all about the process of creating images like this in my book, only available for a very limited period of time before my family and I move to Bulgaria in the coming 1-2 weeks:


Macro on mobile has always been possible with add-on lenses from various companies, but it has always been degraded in quality compared to “proper” cameras with interchangeable lenses and larger sensors due to the limitations of diffraction. This is a hard limit that cannot be overcome: a small sensor at high magnification will not yield the resolution of a sensor with a larger area of light collection. The short focal length of the lens can also be seen. These lenses are wide – and you can see a large difference in the position of the center of the flower in each droplet. The wider the angle, the larger the difference in the perspective between each droplet.


I love my Lumix S1R and GX9, and the iPhone 13 Pro is not a substitute for it in any fashion. The same techniques applied to any capable camera, however, yield usable results. This image should illustrate that it’s far more than just the camera at play in the construction of an image. While I can confidently say that this was shot on my phone, it will not be my go-to tool to make this sort of magic in the future. That said, if this is the only tool you have… guess what? It works! :)


This image depicts flower petals held by clamps, and a Gerbera Daisy in the background refracting through the droplets which are acting like lenses. Three Lumecube lights are used: one diffused for the foreground, one bare on the right, and one Lumecube RGB Panel Pro on the left set to a warmer colour which adds a subtle colour gradient to the flower. Just enough to liven up the colour pallet without becoming a distraction.


Onward and upward, the experiments and the adventures continue. Stay creative out there! And grab a copy of the book while you still can. ;)

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Taken on October 10, 2021