How to Take Gorgeous Macro Photos of Fruit

August 21, 2012

in Photography Tips

How to Photograph Fruit in Sparkling Water - Macro Photography Tutorial via I Heart Faces

We love the way our additional Photo Challenges on Facebook bring out the creativity in our photographers each month. Jaymi McClusky’s “F is for Fruit” photo had us all wondering how she got that shot. We were so happy that she was willing to share her process of creating such a refreshing photo with all of us!

What you need

  • Sparkling water,
  • a small glass vase (a square vase works better, because shooting through a round one might distort the image),
  • fruit,
  • a piece of scrapbook paper or cloth,
  • toothpicks or skewers,
  • your camera and a macro lens,
  • lots of natural light or a tripod.

How to Photograph Fruit in Bubbles - Macro Photography Tutorial via I Heart Faces

Set-up

I shot these with my Nikon D90 and a Nikkor 85mm 3.5 Micro lens.  Fill the vase with sparkling water and skewer a piece of fruit to hang in place from the top. Make sure the vase is as clean as possible.  For the background, I simply taped a piece of scrapbook paper to my chair behind the vase.  I used natural light for these and did not use a tripod. To light this, I set everything up on my dining room table near a large window with a lot of light.  If needed, you could set up a reflector on the opposite side of the vase to bounce more window light onto it.  This is what the set up looked like:

How to Photograph Fruit in Bubbles - Macro Photography Tutorial via I Heart Faces

The Shoot

Once you have it positioned, let the fruit sit in the water without being moved for a minute or two.  This will allow the bubbles from the sparkling water to settle onto the fruit.  When you’re ready, get your lens close and start shooting.  Try switching out your fruit for different looks.

How to Photograph Fruit in Bubbles - Macro Photography Tutorial via I Heart Faces

I had the hardest time with the cherry, since I couldn’t stick a toothpick through it to hold it in place.  Ultimately I had to tape the stem in place to the edge of the glass, but the cherry kept floating to the top.  I think this was the only photo I got where it wasn’t floating on the surface!

How to Photograph Fruit in Bubbles - Macro Photography Tutorial via I Heart Faces

One of the best things about this set-up is that you can easily tape up different color scrapbook paper or pieces of cloth to change the background.  Try picking colors that contrast with the color of the fruit so it can stand out against the background.

How to Photograph Fruit in Bubbles - Macro Photography Tutorial via I Heart Faces

To Edit

I added a little extra brightness, vibrance, and contrast because I loved that bright, crisp, refreshing look.  I used the patch tool or clone stamp to get rid of stray bubbles streaming through the water that ended up looking like streaks on the glass.  And occasionally I had to crop a bit if I accidentally got the edge of the vase or the edge of the scrapbook sheet in the shot.

How to Photograph Fruit in Bubbles - Macro Photography Tutorial via I Heart Faces

Here’s a before and after shot of the above lime shot.  The shot on the left is SOOC and if you look closely there were some marks in the upper left corner that looked like dirt on the glass (which really were bubbles from the water) that I cloned out to give the background a cleaner feel.

How to Photograph Fruit in Bubbles - Macro Photography Tutorial via iHeartFaces.com

There are so many ways you can get creative with this set-up.  You could use multiple pieces of fruit at once or even patterned backgrounds! Have fun and get creative!

Jaymi McClusky for I Heart Faces Jaymi McClusky, of Jaymi M Photography, is a hobbyist photographer who loves shooting natural light lifestyle portraits and food photography.  Follow her on Facebook or on her blog for more tutorials and tips!

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Myra Halpern January 23, 2014

Thanks so much for sharing this great idea. It was fun experimenting and my bubbles were colored. I wasn’t expecting that but I liked it. I don’t have a macro lens but i was playing with the different options on my camera. I used the ‘toy camera’ effect. http://365project.org/mrshalpern/365

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pat January 30, 2013

This is so fantastic – I’m speechless. I cannot wait to give this technique a try!

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Claudia Totir August 28, 2012

Fabulous idea!!

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Isabelle Krake August 22, 2012

Wow… That is awesome. Thank you so much.

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Patty August 22, 2012

What an amazing technique and so simple!

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Amy Locurto August 21, 2012

RT @iHeartFaces: How to Take Gorgeous #Macro Photos of Fruit: http://t.co/86aadpww #photography

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Declan Mc Glone August 21, 2012

How to Take Gorgeous Macro Photos of Fruit #photography http://t.co/aIG39rpd

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Mindy August 21, 2012

I love pullbacks, thanks Jaymi! Would’ve never guessed with the toothpick trick!

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Kristin F August 21, 2012

I love these!!! So creative and beautiful! Talented photographer.

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Jaymi McClusky August 21, 2012

Oops I replied above instead of replying to this! My settings were ISO 500, f/5.0, 1/60 of a second!

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Jaymi McClusky August 21, 2012

My settings for most of these shots were ISO 500, f/5.0, 1/60 second.

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Nikki Waterlow August 21, 2012

These are lovely. I can’t wait to try these out for myself and create great wall art for Christmas presents this year :)
I wonder if you could stick a noticeboard pin into the back of the cherry to provide some weight?! Raspberries would also be a problem! Definitely going to give it a try. :) Thanks for sharing.

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Cristina August 21, 2012

These are beautiful! What were your settings? I have done this, but it hasn’t turned out this sharp. I am shooting with a canon 5d and a tamron 90mm macro.
Thanks!

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MixedMolly August 21, 2012

This looks like a fun experiment with amazing results! Great colors and compositions.

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