A while back I picked up a 110mm crystal ball on Amazon and have been having some fun taking some photos with it. It is a very challenging device to shoot with. Everything appears in the ball upside-down and backwards and focus can only be achieved with zoom lens. So putting together compositions in the wild can be pretty tricky. Using the Sigma 70-200mm APO lens and shooting at f/2.8 also allows me to get the depth of field I am looking for in these shots.
These first few shots were done right in my backyard. These shots are un-edited and only color and sharpness adjusted out of the camera. (As always, click the image to enlarge, the button to see purchase options)
Sometimes amazing things happen in my garden, and this time I had my camera in hand. I have a large butterfly bush in the garden and it attracts all sorts of butterflies and moths. This Monarch just happened to visit as I was shooting the black-eyed susans.
Recently, I took a trip out west and brought the looking glass with me. This first shot is from a roadside stop. These plains sunflowers are all over the west along the road. The sun was setting and I was due for a long needed pit stop. So I grabbed the orb and ran out to the field to take this shot.
First major stop on the road trip was Indiana Dunes on lake Michigan. I got there just in time to catch the sun setting.
The next stop for me was in Colorado. This is a place called Rifle Falls. There are some pretty amazing falls here but also these really awesome caves. I thought that it was a perfectly mystical stage for the oculus.
A quick stop to a small town in the Rockie Mountains called, “No Name” for these shots. This shoot nearly became a major disaster. While setting up the shot, the sun came out from behind the clouds and nearly set Colorado on fire. Luckily I was paying attention and covered the ball and had water with me to dowse the embers. The looking glass is extremely powerful in direct light and can start just about anything burning in jus 3-4 seconds. Now I realize what the “Orb is Combustible” meant on the box it arrived in. Thought that was a strange thing to print on a glass ball.
The ball would be retired for the next couple of days on the trip. I think I feared bringing it out as I thought things might start exploding in the Utah sun. It made a triumphant return during a private slot canyon tour. Here are those shots.
The orb forces you to be creative and this is one of those times. Not sure if the shot works or not, but it is different.
Next stop was Toad Stool Canyon. This is a secluded canyon that requires a 1.5 mile hike in. It was well worth it! Even though I only did one crystal ball shot here, I took many other shots during my exploration. Look for those in another blog entry soon.
In a similar canyon roughly 500 miles away and across a long desert road, the next stop was Goblin Valley. Here there are vast amounts of hoodoos and spires that made great subject matter for the looking glass.
The last stop was back at Indiana Dunes on the way back home to New York. This time it was for the sunrise.
That pretty much wraps up the looking glass gallery, for now. It’s fun, creative, forces you to think, it’s naked, raw, and undeniably beautiful. Stay tuned for many more shots featuring the looking glass.