Optics in My Home Garden

April 20, 2017

Optics in My Home Garden copy

Photographer: Menashe Davidson
Summary Author: Menashe Davidson

One advantage of keeping a garden is the opportunity to understand nature better. As Albert Einstein said, "Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."

After it rains, I always check its effect on the plants of my terrace garden in Rishon LeZion, Israel. The above photos were taken after a recent rain and demonstrate the optical phenomena of a mirror and a lens nicely. On the top photo (taken on December 17, 2016) notice the rain that had accumulated in the little metal basin holding the Cyclamen flower pot, in the foreground. Like a flat mirror, the light rays were reflected (specular reflection) resulting in the upside-down image of the tall building adjacent to my apartment. On the second photo, water drops are adhering to Adenium (Desert Rose) flower tubes. These drops functioned as a lens, refracting light through the drops to produce the inverted image of the same tall building that appears in the top photo.

Photo Details: Top - Camera Model: NIKON D7100; Focal Length: 22mm (35mm equivalent: 33mm); Aperture: ƒ/22.0; Exposure Time: 0.0063 s (1/160); ISO equiv: 2000; Software: Windows Photo Editor 10.0.10011.16384. Bottom - same except:  Lens: 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6; Focal Length: 200mm (35mm equivalent: 300mm); Aperture: ƒ/16.0; Exposure Time: 0.0020 s (1/500); ISO equiv: 500; Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5 Windows.