Glass ball photography
Some simply call it a glass ball, others go for a crystal ball or lens-ball, but the concept is the same. One gets a clear round object to shoot through to get a fun effect. Shooting through objects like a glass ball adds a bit of mystery, an unusual curiosity, and interesting distortions.
I got my magic ball just a few weeks ago, and so far I haven’t seen my future but I did have the time for a few experiments so here is what I have learned so far.
1. Everything is upside down.
Through the ball, you see the world upside down and it’s an interesting feature to play with. The dog photo above and the picture of the boots below are shot at more or less the same spot. As you can see, I flipped the first one of Mogwai.
2. Low angle works best.
It doesn’t really matter whether you lift the ball or get down low on the ground, but you see the most when you’re at the same level.
3. Objects have to get close.
When photographing a subject like a dog, they really have to get close to be able to fill the image.
4. You might need a macro lens.
I don’t have one, so I can’t get any closer to the ball than I have in these pictures.
5. When the aperture is too large and everything becomes too blurry.
As you might know, I love shooting with my aperture wide open to get a very limited depth of field. The issue with the glass ball is that when you shoot with a large aperture, the ball itself becomes blurry and you see very little of the scene. I think the picture below is really on the edge of perhaps not defining the scene enough.
…to be continued, I would say. It’s not that I plan on dragging this ball everywhere I go, but there are definitely some places where I’d love to get a nice shot with it.