Beautiful, artistic yet abstract macro images can be obtained from macro drop photography.

Drop photography can be approached in several ways; you can photograph falling drops as they hit the water, or drops hanging from plants, or even sprayed on glass with an abstract background. Each droplet can act as a tiny lens, creating a minature image of the scene behind it within the droplet.

It is possible to shoot this outdoors, but you would need a perfectly still day. It is much easier to recreate it inside as you have lots of creative control.

To begin with you need to choose a background. A piece of coloured card will work fine. Next, set up the subject that will be seen through your drop. This could be a flower, or even patterned paper.

Next, you need to create your drop. Position a plant so the stem or leaf is in front of your subject, and then add a drop! Try using a mixture of glucose and water rather than just water, as this creates a larger more stable drop. Use a small paintbrush or eye-dropper pipette to add the drop to your leaf. This takes a steady hand and a steady eye to create a large drop that doesn’t fall.

The best way to photograph with this technique is to take two images, and then combine them in Photoshop. You will need to use a tripod to ensure the images remain in alignment.  The first image should be focused on the drop, and the second image more finely focused on the picture inside the drop. Use manual focus to achieve precise focus where you want it.

The next step is to combine your two images into one in Photoshop. Open both of your images in Photoshop, and copy the image where you focused on the droplet. Paste this onto the photo focused on the image inside the drop.

Create a layer mask on the top layer and select pen tool. Set the forground colour to black, and choose a soft edge brush with an opacity of about 30%. Carefully paint on the mask to reveal the sharp image inside each drop.