PHOTOGRAPHING MACRO WATER DROPS
WITH OLYMPUS TOUGH TG6
I use the Olympus Tough TG6 for my droplet and other macro photos because -
- It is small and allows me to place it right up close to my subject.
- I can place it as close as 10mm in front of my subject.
- It has macro and micro settings, including in-camera focus stacking.
- It is lightweight, allowing me to tip it on any angle towards a drop.
- It is completely waterproof, allowing it to happily sit in wet grass or any other wet area.
- It pairs with OM Image Share app, for complete camera control and framing your picture on the screen.
I photograph droplets in the lawn, early in the morning when the dew/rain is still on the grass. If you do it any later in the day, the drops will quickly dry up.
This layout shows the placement of the camera, in the lawn, in relation to the droplets. I use a small knife to support the camera and sometimes, if the camera needs to be on a strong slant, two knives front and back to keep it steady. Very occasionally I use a small light (not usually needed but occasionally is necessary). I prefer not to use lights because they shine unnaturally on the water drops. Once I have set up the camera, I place the flowers behind the drops.
This shows the camera set on focus stacking mode (little ladybird icon). All the settings for the camera can be changed on this screen. The picture that the camera will take also shows on the screen. For the macro drop photos I set the zoom as far as it will go.
The press of a finger on the screen, where you want the focus to be, brings up a green square.
Final picture of tiny water drop on blade of grass in the lawn, with all components in focus. This picture was three in-camera stacks, stacked again in the computer using Apple “Focus Stacker” software.
The Olympus Tough stacks automatically and provides two photos. The first photo of the stack and the final stack photo. I only use the final stack photos. Often the final stack photo is good enough to use without all the extra stacking. Sometimes I need to do several stacks, with different focus points to ensure overall focus coverage. Then I stack the camera-stacked photos in software, afterwards. On my Mac I’m using “Focus Stacker” for that, purchased from the Apple App Store. I used to use Helicon Focus software however I find Focus Stacker is more accurate.
This is a photo I took recently. I did two in-camera stacks for this one - one stack on the drop, another stack on the grass stalk.
This was the arrangement of flowers for creating the above shot. My advice is to set up the focus on the drops first and then put the flowers in, otherwise the camera will just want to focus on the flowers.