Photographing Muir Woods with a Crystal Ball

Muir Woods is located 12 miles north of San Francisco and well known for its old coastal redwood trees

I have been to Muir Woods many times but wanted to try something different this time. I wanted to capture Muir Woods in a crystal ball. Why?

  • Photographing through a crystal ball provides a 180 degree view with a fish eye effect
  • Refraction photography which provides a unique effect

For camera equipment I used the following

  • Camera: Nikon D7200
  • Lenses: Nikkor 12–24 mm
  • Tripod & cable release
  • 3.9 inch Quartz Crystal Ball with stand

Some do’s and don’ts with crystal ball photography in Muir Woods

Do’s

  • Get a Muir woods parking reservation in advance unless you plan to take the shuttle. If you are lugging photography gear, you will probably want to drive in
  • Make sure the ball is level with your subject. Either place it on a crevice or use the stand
  • Shoot with a wide aperture / small f-stop. This will blur the background and emphasize the picture in the crystal ball

Don’t

  • Take pictures in direct sunlight without being careful. A crystal ball in direct sunlight can act like a magnifying lens and cause burns

Below are pictures from the Muir Woods boardwalk which is in a grove with trees that are 600+ years old. I filled the glass ball with the subject (redwood trees)

NIKON D7200 19mm ISO200 with HDR. Apr 21, 2018
NIKON D7200 f/4 19mm ISO200 with HDR. Apr 21, 2018
NIKON D7200 ISO200 with HDR. Apr 21, 2018
NIKON D7200 f/4 18mm ISO200 with HDR. Apr 21, 2018

There is so much history in these trees. Now only if my crystal ball could tell me whether these trees will survive climate change and frequent droughts so they can be around for thousands of more years!

--

--

Interested in landscape photography, payments, education & meditation

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Prakash Hariramani

Interested in landscape photography, payments, education & meditation