Photographing Refractions in Raindrops

posted in: Photography | 39

I tried out photographing refractions this week for the first time. We’ve had monsoon type weather recently so rather than taking photos of raindrops on flowers I decided to finally try out some refraction photography.


  • In fact it’s easier to use a macro lens.
  • Use a wide aperture f/3.5 to f/5.6.
  • Set your lens to manually focus.
  • However if you have some extension tubes you can get even closer to the water droplet.
  • Once you have found your raindrops then move around the plant to find a refraction in the drop.
  • Then find that refraction in your viewfinder – adjust your settings, focus and then shoot!
  • All I used was a tripod and lots of patience.
  • Furthermore you can still try this out even when it hasn’t been raining. Just gently spray water unto the blooms until the water droplets are large enough to photograph.
  • However just don’t knock into the plant accidentally as the droplets will fall unto the ground.
refraction photography with a yellow Potentilla fruticosa flower
Photographing refractions with a yellow Potentilla bloom in my garden




photographing refractions with a white Marguerite daisy
Finally photographing refractions with a white Marguerite daisy in my garden

The photographs in this post were all taken with a good quality fuji point and shoot camera rather than my dslr.



Rosie Nixon
Follow Rosie Nixon:

Rosie is based in Perth, Perthshire as a garden photographer, writer and nature lover. She enjoys soaking up nature in her own garden and is easily distracted from doing the weeding by anything that flutters, flies, buzzes, creeps or crawls! She enjoys sharing the beauty of creation through her photography. Rosie has been featured on TV on BBC2's The Beechgrove Garden and she uses the Scottish outdoors as her natural light studio. Her work can be seen at the only photographic gallery in Scotland - Close Gallery, 4b Howe Street, Edinburgh.

39 Responses

  1. 'Tsuki

    Wow… So stunning, so marvelous, so poetical, those tiny reflections of such big flowers… I just love them !

    Thanks for the sharing

  2. Sylvia K

    These are gorgeous! And how creative you are! They really took my breath away, Rosie! You do have patience! Have a wonderful weekend!


  3. Scott

    These are simply gorgeous. I'm so glad I came and visited. I've got to try this now. I love it. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  4. michael

    Those are beautiful macro shots, though technically they are refractions instead of reflections. Doesn't matter when the photos are so nice.

  5. RuneE

    The fun one can have with water drops is endless. These are excellent examples.

  6. Malyss

    Woaw! I love the colors in the first, but the second one is completely magic!!

  7. Ashley Sisk

    This is beautiful! I'm going to check out your friends blog now and subscribe to your posts. Such beautiful work.

  8. Karli

    Good heavens!! Now that's the kind of shot that I'm unable to capture. Just amazing! I think I'll have to stick with Fruit Loops – ha! Unbelievable shot.

  9. Lotta

    The picture is perfect.
    Lovely colour and the sharpness is marvelous.
    Put it on the wall.
    Hugs //Lotta
    Have a nice weekend
    Thank you for visiting me and my blog

  10. bfarr

    Perfect little flower in that droplet. Wonderful capture.

    And about the cow killer ant, yes I would have stayed away. Quite pretty, tho.

  11. Julie

    I have always wanted to be able to do this, but while I have immense patience, the technique has eluded me. Following your instructions, I will try this out before this weekend is over.

    Your results are stunning. Like tiny miniatures captured forever.

  12. maiaT

    Now, this is not fair, you've learned this lesson too well.
    These shiny raindrops and the perfect reflections are fantastic Rosie.
    I new you will try it and succeed. Congratulations for your patience and result, these macros are exquisite!

    Many thanks for link to my post and also for the tips on the orchids, I will follow all your advices.
    That post with 'how to get them back into flower again' would be really useful.
    Have a beautiful weekend!

  13. Mia

    Lovely photo Rosie! Its unbelievable how clear the reflection is in the water droplet!

    May Yahweh bless you,

  14. Kim, USA

    I tried this too but since I don't have a tripod my hands got tired ^_^. It is very beautiful and I would love to this again. But first I have to get a tripod first. Thanks for sharing the tip. Happy weekend!

    Macro Flowers

  15. lisaschaos

    These are wonderful! I have been wanting to try this but haven't taken the time to yet. πŸ™‚

  16. Jenn

    Very great! That's something I hope I could do – take pictures of reflections on the water drop.

    Mine's HERE.

  17. Xavi

    Breathtaking capture, Rosie!
    I regret not having answered your kind comments earlier. Was traveling.
    Thanks for stopping by.
    Have a nice weekend!

  18. kanak7

    Oh Rosie….I'm so glad I to see this and click on the link as well. Beautiful captures! Can't wait to try this out!

    Have a great weekend!

  19. Dani

    WOW..WOW…These are prefect. I LOVE this shot. And the colors.

    Thanks for sharing

  20. BJ Roan

    Wow! Perfect. I'm going to have to give this a try, but I doubt mine will match up.

  21. Mike B.

    I never considered trying this. Next time it rains I'm going to spend some time in the yard looking for possibilities. Thanks!

  22. dancingmatilda

    it looks like someone painted them in….such gorgeous little swirls! love how the drops have micro reflections.

  23. Olga

    Oh my, this pictures is incredible. I should look at your other pictures; they must be wonderful too.

  24. Scott

    It's me "hasting back again". Several people who commented on my "Monochrome Lake" post for Phun Phriday! wondered how it was done, so I posted a tutorial on it today. If you're interested just click here. Thanks for dropping by and your comment.

  25. Judy

    Oh, my goodness!! I have never seen raindrops captured so well! I love that the reflections are of the flowers, too!!

  26. Mrs. M

    Amazing shots! Lovely, lovely flower reflections.You are one gifted photographer!

  27. Ann

    I always admire water droplets. I have not been successful. Yours are beautiful

  28. Andrea

    Hi Rosie, my computer takes a lifetime to open, and really exhausted my patience, but at the end it is never wasted as i learned how this type of reflection/refraction is done. I've been trying it lots of times, without succeeding. I spray water but they drop without me able to get any photo. I hope next time my patience will cooperate with me and i will succeed as you did. It is marvelous, awesome. Thank you.

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