My entry for the *macrophoto
fruit contest. I took 74 pictures over an hour and a half to get this one. Fortunately, I sprayed water on one of the tungsten bulbs which caused it to explode, otherwise I'd probably still be taking pictures..
The response to this photo after getting the daily deviation has been overwhelming. Since so many asked, I thought I'd give some details about it.
I saw a similar photograph here on DA a few years ago (a flag instead of oranges), but I couldn't find it again to give that artist credit when I posted this one. Last night, I did some searching on the Internet, and it seems that this technique isn't as unique as one may think. In 1999, Popular Photography ran an article by Darrell Gulin that described the process, and afterwards, several people tried to recreate it with varying degrees of success. If you do some searches, you'll find a handful of other examples out there.
Here's how it was done:
The orange slices were arranged on a black background (my granite counter top is black). I suspended a sheet of lexan over the oranges and sprayed water on top. To get the right effect, you have to focus on the images in the drops rather than on the drops themselves. This is the tricky part that takes lots of trial and error. For the best effect, your lights should be below the glass and pointed directly at the subject.
Some of the articles I found last night suggested using a box with the inside painted black to remove any other distracting reflections (the drops are mini fish-eye lenses). You'd cut out one side of the box for the light and put the glass on top. They also suggested using Rain-X on glass to ensure that the water beads up as expected (that's why I used Lexan). If anyone tries the technique, I'd love to see how it turns out for you.
Thanks for all of the interest!