Water beading

So while shooting a wedding a couple weeks ago I discovered Water Beads. Not discovered as in Amerigo Vespucci kind of way, but more in the, ‘So that’s what those things are.’ kind of way.  I’ve seen them used before, but never played with any before.

Water beads are these things. Little dehydrated polymer balls that re-hydrate when soaked in water. I bought a small bag of a couple ounces. The linked image below is a pound of beads which when re-hydrated would probably fill a bathtub since my couple of ounces filled up a large salad serving bowl.

So. I picked some up from Michael’s in a tiny little bag. They come in all colors and sizes but Micheal’s only has a couple and it looks like they only sell one size. If you look on Amazon (Image link -> They sell different sized and colors) I bought black. I was looking for red, because those go faster, but they didn’t have any. The store had them with the floral vases section in the front of the store.

So, you pour these things in water and let them sit. If you remember those plastic animals that you dump in water and they grow into larger, slimier versions of the same animal, these are like those things – except much faster. It only took a couple hours for these to get to be full sized.

All the beads are spread out  and glisten under the strobes. They were throwing off some nice reflections. You can see the orange-ish glow of the ceiling lights reflecting off the beads In this shot. Like I posted above, I only had a few ounces and they completely filled up a 9×13 cake pan with some beads left over.














Since these beads live in the water and adsorb so much of it, they retain that wet feel and have an organic look and feel to them.










So the beads bounce and get all over the place. They squish and smash. When they bounce they seem to get less opaque, as from in the image above, you can tell the ones that are bouncing have less color to them.


I found a flask that I had laying around (literally) and decided to do something with it. I probably should have gone out to the collection of glassware I have and gotten something larger, but this worked out nicely.

I found out a couple items when doing this experiment.

1 – That water doesn’t always help

2 – These beads squish fairly easily


The beads w/o water look a lot like fish eggs sitting there. Nothing too exciting.


Likewise, adding some H2O to the mix didn’t help either.





I the water beads are looking more like a bust than something cool to use. They are fun and there are probably plenty of cool things to do with them, I need to think of some though. They don’t allow a lot of light to pass through, so maybe a better/less opaque color would be better.

They can definitely be used as a prop, or be added to another image to help the scene though.

I didn’t take any setup shots – so this is kind of cheating and just posting the final image. But this is the final image that I came up with out of all the images. It’s nothing spectacular and won’t win any awards, but it was fun to edit. The flask was filled with water and the beads set along side of it. The color was added in post along with the smoke.



Incoming! So it took a couple days, but I must say I am impressed with Canon. I’ve been putting this off for awhile, but I want to get the 5D2 cleaned and calibrated professionally so I decided to join CPS.

So Canon took my money and gave me this…. tah dah!

Ok, so this is only available to Professional shooters and you have to have a certain amount of equipment to qualify to join. Lenses and Camera Bodies and Video Cameras and printers and Accessories all count for various points and if you collect them all – you can join.


I qualify for platinum level, but only went with the gold. The $400 price difference between the two levels made it sort of a non-issue. This gold was $100 – but look at what’s included!

  • 2 free cleanings – there in themselves are worth the $100
  • Body and lens caps
  • CPS pin
  • CPS camera strap – that apparently are going for $80 on e-bay
  • the Hardcover – EF Lens III book which is really nice and as a coffeetable book would be $50 at least.
  • 30% off repairs
  • Lens cloth
  • And…. the best…. free 2 weeks use of any canon lens for a loaner!!
  • Probably more I haven’t found yet – there are shipping labels included in the folder.

If I didn’t have to do a wedding shoot this weekend – those free cleanings would be in the mail.

Man, oh man (saying Woman! doesn’t sound right) – watching this creativeLIVE with Khara makes me want to actually get moving on things. Looks like it’s time to take all the web pages down and do a re-design and rebranding.

Off to the races….

Oh yeah – just upgraded the primary editing computer to 24GB! Now just need an SSD and we’ll be screaming.

Photos of Fleurs


Ok, so took some flower shots for Sugarfield. A lot of daisies – Kris does some awesome wedding arrangements. Just thought I’d add some here since I am playing with the website plugins. This shoot was pretty much all 70-200 with the 5D2. All available light and using reflectors. Used a silver and . . . → Read More: Photos of Fleurs

Raining Fire


A few blisters and a burned finger later. A couple of guys spent some time with some steel wool and glowy things.



Themetime, like Hammertime, but more colorful.

Ok, so the quest is on to split the portfolio to a new site and, ahem, finish a site I need to for someone. I am researching themes right now and will see which one I can find that will fit both sites. One for me and one for not me.

Check out G+ – . . . → Read More: Themetime, like Hammertime, but more colorful.