Tiny water droplets on plants (or anything really) are a photographical area of fascination for me. Why? Because they are a perfect example of what makes macro photography so interesting. With the right lens and situation you can find something small and insignificant and turn it into something big, beautiful and interesting. See my dewdrops photos for more of these images.
These pictures are interesting because they are essentially a deception for two reasons. Firstly, the pictures give no obvious indication they are in fact close up macro shots. Secondly, water behaves quite differently at certain temperatures and magnifications – surface tension can create these strange water bubbles and patterns (see text below gallery) that the average observer would not be aware of. Therefore, an observer looks at a leaf and thinks: “Why are those water droplets hanging on the leaf like that? That’s strange.” They are not being aware of the size of the leaf, the magnification of the picture or the erratic behaviour of water.
Photo Gallery of Tiny Water Droplets on Plants
How Surface Tension Creates Tiny Water Droplets
Surface tension is created by the greater attraction or cohesion of liquid molecules when next to air molecules. This results in a tension across the surface of a body of liquid where it is constantly trying to create the smallest possible surface area as a barrier to the air around it. Different liquids have different measurable surface tensions. The strength of the surface tension of water depends on the surrounding temperature, environment and the size of the body of water in question. Small particles of water tend to take the form of beads or bubbles. As a body of water shrinks, the cohesive, attractive properties of the water molecules become much stronger. They overpower the adhesive properties of any surfaces in contact with the water. For example, water beads can form easily on leaves because they have a waxy, non-adhesive surface.