Wouldn’t it be awesome when there was a photography gadget that can help you to create absolutely stunning photos plus it is super cheap? There is. A glass ball. With a glass ball, you can really change a picture from alright to amazing when you know how to use it. What I like the most about glass ball photography is that you really only need your camera and your kit lens to achieve professional results. With that being said,
Let’s get started!
Which Glass Ball Should You Use?
If you think about getting a glass ball there are three sizes that really work good in my experience. Why I’m saying that? Because there come a few changes to a glass ball with its size.
A small glass ball can be very interesting when you use it with flowers or like a water drop and it doesn’t weight a ton as well as it doesn’t take up a lot of space in the bag. However, there are two downsides to it. One is in order to get a good picture out of it you will need a macro lens in my experience. The other problem is when you put it somewhere windy it won’t be easy to keep it in place. Because the wind will pick it up. Another important thing is that focus and distortions because the surface of the glass ball is more curved than the bigger version the image will always be more distorted than with a big one.
This is actually my favorite glass ball size (80mm diameter). It is big enough to not get picked up by the wind and you also don’t need to use a macro lens. It is a bit bigger and heavier, but it still fits in your bag. The distortion is way less strong than with a smaller glass ball and you will have quite a wide area where the picture is crispy sharp and doesn’t have any distortion.
The Big One.
Is the most impressive one for me. It looks the best and it is so big it can display quite a lot inside itself which is awesome. On the other hand, it takes up quite some space and is heavy as f*** 🙂 So there are pros and cons to every version I wanted to tell you about before you might go and purchase one. 🙂
if you have one always keep it covered because of scratches, but more important sunlight (a sock from my girlfriend works quite good for me) 🙂 other ways it might set something on fire when the sun shines through it. Here what could happen.
It Seems To Be A Weapon 🙂
Don’t try to travel with it in an airplane. I got stopped once because of it. They said I could kill people with it. I first thought they were making jokes, but security guards at the airport do not seem to joke a lot… I had to through it away after convincing them that I do not plan to kill anybody. 😀
Think About Turning The Picture
Since the glass ball always will refract your picture, (unless you put two behind each other) Sometimes it just looks more interesting when the background is upside down, but the picture in the glass ball is exactly right.
Depth of field
Sometimes having a picture in the glass ball upside down or the background upside down doesn’t really look good. The one thing you can do then is to open up the aperture and to get a nice and strong bokeh in the picture. Don’t forget to double check the image after you took it because the surface of the glass ball is round and so also affected by the bokeh.
Fill The Frame
Don’t be afraid to completely fill the frame with the glass ball. The ball will act like an extreme wide angle lens, so you still will be able to show your scene.
Use Negative Space
If you don’t know how to use negative space, go here and check it out. I really love to use glass balls with this technique. It is a chance to show two viewpoints in one picture, even with two different kinds of lenses.
Most photos through glass balls are landscape photos, but who says this is the only thing you can do with it. Start playing around. You can take super funny portraits with it or shoot look up pictures. (look up pictures are pictures where you just take a shot of what is above you). 🙂
Put It In The Environment
Sometimes it is perfectly fine to hold the glass ball, but try things out. Put it in a river and let it melt in with the environment. Just put it everywhere. You will be surprised how different pictures become when you look through a glass ball.
What Are Good Places For Glass Ball Photography
There are places that work better and not so good for a glass ball product photography might be one 😀
Wide areas work pretty well for me, for example, a beach, a desert is awesome, but if you happen to not have a desert or a beach at home you can go and just look for open spaces in your city.
I like rooftops for every kind of photography. They are interesting because it is a perspective that you usually don’t see. Glass balls are perfect for that kind of photography because they can showcase the wideness in the shot even better than any wide-angle lens.
You can easily integrate the glass ball into a portrait or another kind of picture as a prob. A pretty cool prob. 🙂
That’s already it with my glass ball photography tips. I hope you found the information you were looking for and if not ask me your questions or opinions in the comments.