Capturing the floating paperclip


The paperclip was merely a tool I was using for a completely different capture, but I loved the way it turned out and couldn’t resist sharing it.

Floating Paperclip

Canon 60D | 100mm 2.8 macro lens | 1/13 | f/8.0 | ISO 400 | Flash+LED Flashmate

My real intent was to capture water droplets impacting the water. I had spent a good portion of my day off getting everything together for a contraption that would allow me have a drop hit the same point every time, thus taking the guess work out of my focus.

Once everything was set up, I needed something to allow me to mark where that point on the water is. In rummaging through our catch-all drawer in the kitchen, I found a paperclip. Since I know from my science days paperclips can float on water, I grabbed it out, bent one part so I had a handle, and gently placed it on the surface of the water, underneath where the water drops would make impact.

Once I had the camera focus set on that point, I was ready to take my shots of the drops – but I snapped a few photos of the paperclip as it floated out of position, just for kicks. Well, nearly an hour later, the paperclip photo was my favorite capture of the whole evening. I ran into some reflection challenges with the water drops, so I’m still waiting until I get one that “moves me” before I share it publicly.

Oh, and the reason the paperclip has a red tint to it is because I placed a red gel over my Speedlite 430EXII flash, which was placed level with the surface of the water, just to the left of the bowl, and wirelessly triggered using my on-camera flash.

Enjoy the photo, and know that yes – paperclips can float on water thanks to the surface tension offered up by a bowl of H2O.

~signed, Carltonaut

4 thoughts on “Capturing the floating paperclip

    • Thanks. It was one of those accident shots. I was originally using the paperclip to focus on for the water drops, but liked how it turned out. Gotta love accidents!

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