Crystal Ball Photography — Quick Thoughts

Photographing through a crystal ball is a lot of fun. There are some basics that have to be mastered and then you’re free go wild and be creatives.

F/stop makes a difference in the photograph. Here’s the skyline of Houston photographed with f/5.6. Notice that the edges of the crystal ball are soft. Nice bokeh, though.
Same set-up but the f/stop has been changed to f/22. The edges of the crystal ball are sharp and defined. Notice that there’s more detail in the buildings in the background.
We get so caught-up in photographing that we don’t notice distracting lights in the background. The bright white lights in the upper left are caused by car headlights on a nearby road.
Same shot as above but I’m paying more attention to the moving traffic in the background.
The image in the ball has to be in focus. Some lenses or cameras don’t focus well in the dark. You’ll have to manually focus when this happens. Try using one focus point and put that point on something contrasty. Many cameras/lenses need this to help lock focus.

All photographs taken with a Canon 5D Mark IV, Canon 24-105mm lens.

Holiday Lights Through a Crystal Ball

There is still time to order a crystal ball before all the holiday lights are packed and put away.

This is the one I ordered through Amazon.  

Click here to see a gallery of my photos with a crystal ball.

Crystal ball, reflection, reverse,
Christmas tree through the crystal ball.

Crystal ball, reflection, reverse,

Magical Winter Lights KAC1400
F/stop at 22.

Magical Winter Lights KAC1419
Holding the crystal ball to see all the lights in the background.


Crystal Ball and Holiday Lights

Magical Winter Lights KAC1394_1
Holiday lights reflected in a 4.2-inch crystal ball.  The ball is placed on a tripod.  The photo is flipped in Adobe Camera Raw.

Magical Winter Lights KAC1422
The same 4.2-inch crystal ball held in a hand.  No need to flip the photo.

Magical Winter Lights KAC1405
Shallow f/stop, f/4.5, to soften the lights in the background.

F/stop from 4.5 to 22 to change the background.

Where do you get a crystal ball?  Amazon, of course.


Fun Photographing with Crystal Ball

I took my crystal ball to Spain and we had fun photographing through it at the historic bullring in Rhonda.

My photos show an interesting progression.  It’s hard sometimes to find “the shot” through the crystal ball.

Watch as I try to find the best angle and background.

Crystal ball, Ronda, Spain,
It’s a reflection through the crystal ball but it’s not an interesting photo.

Crystal ball, Ronda, Spain,
Better image in the crystal ball and the background is getting better. 

Crystal ball, Ronda, Spain,
Change to f/22 and the background becomes a bit clearer.  The post on the right is in the way, though.

Crystal ball, Ronda, Spain,
Getting better!  Now the viewer knows we’re in a bullring.  The post in the crystal ball is in the wrong place in my opinion.

Crystal ball, Ronda, Spain,
Much better!  That the shot!

Crystal ball, Ronda, Spain,
Mix it up a bit by changing the f/stop.  

It really helps to work a subject to find “the shot”.  Hope you enjoyed.

P.S. — The crystal ball fell and broke in Barcelona.  Luckily, the accident happened at the end of the trip.  I have another one on order.

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