Photography Blog

Photography blog of Redski @ Red Town Photography

How to Turn Water Droplets into Beautiful Bokeh in the Home Studio

Bokeh Bathing

Bokeh Bathing

I used a Canon 6D with the TS-E 90mm for this Still Life bokeh shoot. However I did not use the tilt Shift function. For the lighting I used 3 Elinchrom D-Lite RX Ones with the 18 cm 12 degree Honeycomb Grid spot attachment.

For this photo I took a sheet of clear plexiglass and placed it in front of the subject, which in this case is the orangutan. I propped up the plexiglass, with a metal stand on either side.

To create the bokeh effect I then used a spray bottle which has a mixture of glycerin and water inside. The glycerin is a very good tool for a product photographer as it makes water droplets stick to the outside of a bottle. It is commonly used in beer photography, to make the bottle glisten with ice condensation.

I sprayed the outside of the plexiglass, being careful not to splash the camera lens. Then from behind the subject, I aimed the gridded lighting at the droplets to the light them up, making sure that I did not get any light in the camera lens.

Instead of focusing on the plexiglass, I focused through the plexi glass onto the orangutan and instantaneously, the water droplets are blurred into beautiful bokeh because the foreground is out of focus.

Obviously if you don't have any glycerin handy this can still be done with water only but be prepared for the water to drip away quickly. This is a relatively simple technique is that a studio photographer can do and I feel that it produces some interesting results for their Still Life photography.

I used a Canon 6D with the TS-E 90mm for this Still Life bokeh shoot. However I did not use the tilt Shift function. For the lighting I used 3 Elinchrom D-Lite RX Ones with the 18 cm 12 degree Honeycomb Grid spot attachment.

For this photo I took a sheet of clear plexiglass and placed it in front of the subject, which in this case is the orangutan. I propped up the plexiglass, with a metal stand on either side.

To create the bokeh effect I then used a spray bottle which has a mixture of glycerin and water inside. The glycerin is a very good tool for a product photographer as it makes water droplets stick to the outside of a bottle. It is commonly used in beer photography, to make the bottle glisten with ice condensation.

I sprayed the outside of the plexiglass, being careful not to splash the camera lens. Then from behind the subject, I aimed the gridded lighting at the droplets to the light them up, making sure that I did not get any light in the camera lens.

Instead of focusing on the plexiglass, I focused through the plexi glass onto the orangutan and instantaneously, the water droplets are blurred into beautiful bokeh because the foreground is out of focus.

Obviously if you don't have any glycerin handy this can still be done with water only but be prepared for the water to drip away quickly. This is a relatively simple technique is that a studio photographer can do and I feel that it produces some interesting results for their Still Life photography.

Studio Lighting Setup

Studio Lighting Setup