I have a consulting job on the side, in addition to my regular job. Add to that one of the wettest winters in years… I haven’t been doing much photography lately. But here’s a tribute to this rainy, Western Washington winter, and how I shot them.
All of these photos were taken with my Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS, which has incredible detail. I also used a B+W close-up filter rated at +3. Not true macro, but it does allow you to get much closer and still be in focus. Getting very close to the subject AND having a wide aperture makes for an extremely shallow depth of field. In this case, I could get away with such a wide aperture setting because I was looking straight down onto the blade of grass, rather than shooting from the side to show the raised drops.
To get more in focus, I stopped down to f/6.7 in the photo above. But you can still see the depth of field is very shallow. This was fairly early in the morning, and I think it’s intriguing how these nearly microscopic water drops formed on the leaves. The middle leaf has a larger drop on it, more like a rain drop.
B+W filters are made in Germany with very high quality glass. When putting filters on the front of a very nice lens, a cheap filter can soften an image that would otherwise be tack sharp. As you can see, the closeup filter is still quite sharp, and compliments the lens. This is also the reason that I remove clear or UV protective filters before putting a special filter like a polarizer or closeup filter on the lens. The less additional glass in front of the lens, the better.
This is more of an artistic edit, done with the Infrared Film feature in NIK Color Efex Pro 4. But again, once you open the aperture up, and have a closeup filter on at the same time, the depth of field is very shallow.
One last point: When taking photos like this, pay attention to the angle of sun and how the light hits the drops. How you position your lens is the difference between dull, flat looking drops or sparkly, illuminated, clearly defined drops.