Lauren Heerschap  

Crystal Ball Burgundy Tulip Field by Lauren Heerschap

January 2020 - Crystal Ball Burgundy Tulip Field

About the Image(s)

This is an image taken with a crystal ball in a tulip field in Skagit Valley, Washington. I took it by balancing the ball on a tripod, then using my macro lens I focused on the ball and let the background go into a blur. In post processing I flipped the image, since the ball “sees” things upside down. This Christmas I got a suction cup device to hold the ball on my tripod so it isn’t such a balancing act. Very fun. Shot at ISO 200, f4.0 , 1/250. I am curious if anyone else has experimented using crystal balls, and what you did with the images? How did you post process them?

This round’s discussion is now closed!
8 comments posted

Becca Cambridge   Becca Cambridge
Oh! Oh! Oh! Love this. I got one for Christmas and can't wait to try it! What a great idea to put it on a tripod! I was wondering how this works. Now, what suction cup device and where did you get it?
I'm stuck in rehab so I can't play right now. Looking forward to it. I'm curious what others will say.
What fun, great weather and skill!

  Posted: 01/04/2020 08:39:24

Lauren Heerschap   Lauren Heerschap
Hi Becca! I am so glad you like this image, and I am eager to know if anyone will comment on how to improve the post processing. The suction cup device my husband found by just searching for crystal ball suction cup device on Google. They range about $20. You can order them from Amazon or a bit cheaper from Adorama.

Hey group I am eagerly awaiting any knowledge about post processing?   Posted: 01/04/2020 16:31:00

Renee Schaefer   Renee Schaefer
I love this image. I don't have experience with crystal balls, but I think you did a great job here. I tried photographing with one at a macro workshop last weekend and it was hard to keep unwanted light out.
I love that you used the tulips as the blurred background. Could you remove the bluish tint from the sides? Not knowing how crystal balls work, I can't use that as a criticism.   Posted: 01/09/2020 13:59:14
Lauren Heerschap   Lauren Heerschap
I think the bluish tint is actually the depth of the ball and it is slightly out of focus because of that. I could focus stack it, and I've had mixed results. It is crazy impossible to clone it or stamp it. Any suggestions from the group how to fix that edge would be appreciated!
  Posted: 01/09/2020 14:49:47

Jon Allanson   Jon Allanson
I am always interested in any type of photography that is outside the style of normal club imaging- especially making it difficult for the club judge to make sensible, considered comments on. The crystal ball has worked like a extreme fish eye lens distorting the horizon and creating the circular image similar to that you get using a short cropped sensor fish-eye lens on a full frame body. I like the way you have framed the circular image with box picking up the colour of the tulips.   Posted: 01/12/2020 04:54:41

Jan van Leijenhorst   Jan van Leijenhorst
I have recently became aware of these balls. I may buy one as they seem a lot of fun to work with. As I am not familiar with them, I wonder if it were possible to keep everything within the ball in focus. I find the out of focus area on the left somewhat distracting. I like the idea of using the tulips' color as a background, although it seems a bit strong.   Posted: 01/20/2020 14:18:16

Danny Dunne   Danny Dunne
Lauren, I like to review an image as it is presented and to identify the elements of a 'good' image. This is more difficult with experimental photography as it is harder to know what the photographer is trying to achieve.
I like the way the tulips at the front stand taller and more separated and then all merge together as they approach the yellow line. The tulip flowers stand out well against the green background. Its an interesting technique to demonstrate.

  Posted: 01/20/2020 22:39:11

Brad Ashbrook   Brad Ashbrook
Interesting technique and I like the effect on the flowers close to the camera. With this fisheye affect, PERHAPS, keeping most of the subject closer will be better. Who knows, more experimentation which is the fun part. I do find the pink box around the image a bit strong.   Posted: 01/21/2020 09:30:57