As a photographer, we often get jealous when we see those compelling images that leave audience stunned and wowed. These images are created by reflections in photography and most of us have heard about it. Unfortunately, not every photographer can say he knows how to do refraction properly.
Over the years, some amateur and even professional photographers have approached me to learn the best ways to do crystal ball refraction photography. No doubt, once you master how to photograph with a glass ball, your photography won’t be the same again. You can be able to wow your audience and reach the height you don’t even imagine possible in photography.
In this article, you will learn some great tips that will help you master crystal ball refraction photography.
What is Refraction Anyway?
Before we get started, let’s take a look at what refraction is all about. Refraction is the effect you get when light passes through an object of denser mass like glass or water. This leads to a bent light and distortion. You can experience something magical when refraction occurs with a transparent spherical object. You will see an inverted image of the scene behind the ball.
You can use the lens element in your camera or add a glass ball as an extra lens element so you can easily move your scene around.
Before we go on, let’s take a look at some pros and cons of refraction photography:
Pros of Refraction:
- It makes your images standout
- Glass ball is more affordable than lens
- Glass ball allows you to create a fish-eye like effect
- You can easily change the position of the ball
- The ball allows you to create a natural frame for your photo
- You can achieve minimalism by creating bokeh with a large aperture and ball
- You can create a photo with a more artistic feel when you create your scene with a crystal ball
Cons of Refraction
- It causes distortion on the edge of the ball
- It is really hard to achieve a sharp image inside the ball
- These large glass balls are very heavy and can be inconvenient especially when you want to travel with them
- You may need to invest in a macro lens
- The image in the ball is upside down
Now that you’ve learned what refraction is all about, let’s take a look at how you can do proper refraction in photography.
How To Do Refraction Photography
If you are curious about learning how to achieve that crystal ball effect, the tips below will teach you how you can easily achieve this effect. Please read them carefully:
1. Move Above Your Subject
When trying to achieve refraction photography, you will need to get the ball off the ground and make it level with your subject. This is because a centered subject in the ball will have more impact in the frame and less distortion. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, leaf beds work well when you place the ball in them.