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Image of the Month: June 2015

Smartie thinking ... Jane Rowland's Droplets.

Always be on the look out for useful photography tips from articles. That's the message from club member Jane Rowland who provides our latest image of the month. Droplets took first prize in our recent annual competition, the club's showcase that rounds off the competitive season. Jane explains how she approached taking it.

I’d seen this photo on the internet and it looked really simple to set up; fill a bowl with Smarties, then photograph the Smarties through a pane of glass, sprinkled with water droplets. 

I bought a cheap photo frame as I didn't have a pane of glass handy, balanced it on two cereal boxes, fixed the camera to the tripod and took about 40 shots. However, when I looked at the results in the viewfinder, my attempt bore absolutely no resemblance to the photo on the internet; in fact, my photo was so far removed from what I was aiming at, I thought in order to get such perfectly round droplets, the original image must have been digitally enhanced, and I gave up at that point.

Purely by chance, a week or so later, I came across an article in an old photo magazine about the very same picture, explaining the process in detail. The crucial stage I had missed out was to spray the glass with water repellent liquid (I bought Rain X spray from Amazon, £4.79). Once I’d done this, I could see immediately that the droplets had formed in the circles I’d seen in the original photo.

I tried two versions, one where I spritzed the glass with a water bottle and one in which the drops were carefully placed one by one using a pipette. I opted for the spritzed version as the droplet sizes were more varied in size. The final image was as it looked through the viewfinder, with the exception of one little droplet that I cloned to fill a space on the glass.

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