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.
Picture of the world:
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.