A challenge for photographers: the sparkles on the grass

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Jock Elliott, Jul 5, 2017.

  1. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    (Cross posted at Mu-43)

    The sparkles on the grass . . . do you see them in the pix below?

    omd-em5-sparkles-on-the-grass-001-.552140.

    Neither do I. Yet I saw them very clearly with my eyes.

    Here's another one. There should be a big "twinkle" right in the center of the frame.

    omd-em5-sparkles-on-the-grass-002-.552142.

    I tried with the OMD EM5 and the 17mm f/1.8, with the OMD EM5 II and the 14-150, with the Sony HX400V. Nada, bupkas, zip.

    And yet with the slanting early morning light, I could clearly the tiny sparkles of the dew on the grass. I could also see the highlights on the leaves as the sunlight cut through the trees on the hillside. I tried fiddling with exposure comp, different angles, nothing worked.

    My eyes could clearly see the sparkles on the grass, yet none of the sensors could.

    Any suggestions? Even better, if you have managed to capture the sparkles on the grass, post the picture and tell how you did it.

    Cheers, Jock
     
  2. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    I think modern cameras might be designed to cut through all that. Polarising? Something? And no, there are no sparkles. I think you'd nearly have to go macro to catch them because they are so tiny.
     
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  3. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    It does sound like there's some polarizing going on, but then a polarizing filter works differently depending on the angle of the sun and the fov of the lens... not quite what you'd want to happen unannounced.
     
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  4. Les Klein

    Les Klein SC Regular

    153
    Dec 10, 2015
    I usually look for the sparkles on the grass when I’m deciding whether to cut my lawn in the morning or later in the day. I’ve never thought of trying to capture and image of it, but now I’ll try.
     
  5. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    I do the same, but today I looked at the lawn and said, "That's really pretty," and that's where the trouble began.

    Let me know if you have any success.

    Cheers, Jock
     
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  6. Petach

    Petach SC All-Pro

    Oct 22, 2011
    UK, Essex
    Peter Tachauer
    Jock, I think it likely you need to get lower down, closer, and shoot contra-jour. The tiny beads of moisture are probably lost in the mass of grass....although I think I can make out one or two pieces. If it was a shiny surface you would see it all, but the grass texture and dominant colour is competing for the attention of the camera; and winning...in my humble and inexperienced view. Then again, I could be talking complete horse pucky :0)
     
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  7. Les Klein

    Les Klein SC Regular

    153
    Dec 10, 2015
    No sparkles this morning, so I mowed the lawn.
     
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  8. donlaw

    donlaw SC All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    Texas
    Don
    Probably water droplets which need the angle to be seen.
    Maybe get down low and use a macro lens/setting.
     
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  9. Les Klein

    Les Klein SC Regular

    153
    Dec 10, 2015
    Research Results: Back from a trip (used to be called vacation when I worked) and the grass was long and sparkly this morning. Here are the best of 24 pictures trying to capture grass sparkles. All were taken with my LX100 at in P mode. I used a variety of filters.

    D.MONO filter f5.6 1/640 -⅔EV ISO 200
    P1090485.

    STAR filter f5.6 1/800 -1⅓EV ISO200
    P1090493.

    STAR filter f5.6 1/1600 -1EV ISO 200
    P1090497.

    None of the images beats the acuity and dynamic range of the human retina! Although the droplets are evident, they do not sparkle. Now I’ll mow the lawn. . .
     
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  10. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Wow. The mono version, in particular, seems to capture the spirit of what I was talking about . . . sparkles on the grass.

    Well done! Put a Gold Star on your chart.

    Anything I need to know about the settings?

    Cheers, Jock
     
  11. Les Klein

    Les Klein SC Regular

    153
    Dec 10, 2015
    I seemed to get the best shots with negative EV values no matter which filter I used. negative EV probably heightened the contrast between the grass and the water droplets. Al the shots with positive or zero EV did not capture the drops.
     
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  12. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Mea culpa: I'm an idiot; I just now noticed the very helpful information you posted above each photograph.

    Cheers, Jock