The fish tank is one of my favourite tools for playing around with.  I can fill it with soda or water and stick things into it or drop things into it.  For this instance I put something inside and spray liquid on it.

For this I recommend using a tripod that can spread extend laterally.  I personally shoot with a macro lens.  You don’t really need one at all, you can hand hold, but I like being able to get the precise focus and shoot with a cable release (even mirror lockup to avoid vibrations).  I spray a substance called RainX on it – give it a couple of coats.  RainX is a product that is used on car windscreens to help the rain bead and flow off the window.  Then I wipe it down and spray a fairly generous amount of water on it – watching the water bead to a satisfactory level.



Then I place something into the fish tank that I want to shoot (doesn’t have to be a picture) – it could be an object like flowers or a bear or anything.  I just haven’t put my head in there yet.

Then I setup the tripod laterally to shoot down into the tank.  I adjust the focus so that the refracted image is seen in the water drops.

Settings don’t really matter if you’re on a tripod.  I note that the aperture will result in how much of the background is in focus – so a small aperture – say F16 will result in a lot of the background being in focus and a wide aperture say F4 – will mean that most of the background is blurred.  So it’s just a creative decision.

Some examples:

Picture of the world:



The Bear




M&Ms or Smarties (I can’t remember which)



I have also tried just putting things into a glass bowl and using cling wrap on the top.  This works okay – the water doesn’t quite bead as well, but it’s cheaper.