Get a fresh take on flower photography using a macro lens and the power of refraction to create striking shots. Capture detail within a droplet of water and experiment with reflections. For this technique you'll need a macro lens, and ideally a tripod and remote shutter release – if you have a Wi-Fi-enabled camera, such as the Canon EOS 90D, you can use the Canon Camera Connect app on your smartphone to frame the shot and trigger the shutter. For the most controllable lighting, it's handy to use an external flash such as one of the Canon Speedlite range.
You can use this technique outdoors (if you have the option) or indoors. The advantage of setting up indoors is that you have more control over the lighting and there's less risk of a breeze disturbing the water droplets. You also don't have to get up early to shoot the morning dew!
In addition to a macro lens and a tripod to keep your camera steady and avoid camera shake, you'll need some flowers, plus some glycerine (available from a pharmacy, the baking aisle in a supermarket or online) to create long-lasting, highly reflective droplets. You'll also need a bright source of light – either from a window or an off-camera Canon Speedlite flash.
Focus your macro lens at its closest focusing distance to achieve the highest magnification. Even at life-size or 1:1 magnification, the water droplets will appear small in the frame, so you may want to crop the shot in editing software afterwards. The lens will need to be positioned close to the droplets, so make sure it doesn't cast a shadow across the picture. If you're using a lamp or an external Canon Speedlite, you'll have more control over the direction of the light. Another way to avoid shadow is to use a macro lens with a built-in Macro Lite, such as the Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM or the Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM.