4 on 4 | Copper Tube Edition

Every month myself and a very talented group of ladies from Clickin Moms get together to create the "4 on 4 Blog Circle" showcasing 4 of our favorite images from the month. Be sure to click the link at the bottom of this post to explore the circle! 

So this month the common theme in many of my photography groups has been experimenting with light and shooting through different objects to achieve new and exciting results.  Enter the copper tube couplings:

photography ring of fire



I bought these guys at Ace Hardware for around five dollars for both.  The trick is to hold one very close to your camera lens and shoot through it, capturing the reflection of light sources in and around your frame.  

Minneapolis photographer

A few things I've learned through this endeavor:  The brighter the light source the harder it is to control.  Full sun is no joke.  Not only do you have to be mindful of not blinding yourself with the reflection inside the tube but you also have to maneuver yourself so that the light isn't pouring right into the lens.  The best way I've found to use sunlight is to have it right outside of your frame and use the tube to pull in a small reflection.

Photographers in Minneapolis

Dimmer ambient lamps, nightlights, candlelight - these are where the money shots have been for me.  You can shoot directly at the light source and adjust your flare exactly how you want it.  

Twin Cities Photographer

Black and white makes a real statement with this technique though color can product some amazing results as well.  My vacation starts today and I already have my copper tube packed in my camera bag.  I can't wait to experiment with it more and see what I can get!


Be sure to check out the incredibly talented Michelle Kriewall of All Your Heart Photography  to follow the circle!

8 comments

  1. So cool! I love the images you have taken experimenting with the "ring." I've only tried a prism and shooting through a bag. It was very helpful to know that lots of bright light may be hard to control and super bright! I think my favorite one was the black and white image near a window. :)

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    1. I've had good results shooting through a crystal ball but haven't tried a prism yet. I'll have to try that!

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  2. We are remodeling our basement bathroom so I grabbed an old piece of copper that was removed and tried this, but it didn't work. I thought it was because it wasn't quite an inch long (as I've read everywhere), but then I looked inside and realized it was all 'aged' on the inside and that's probably why it wasn't working. I need to try this again (with a clean piece of copper) as this looks so fun!

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    1. Mine are about 2 inches long. It was the only length they had at the hardware store. I'll have to experiment with different lengths as I find them!

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  3. I bought an aluminum and copper piece of piping recently. It's so much fun to play with light using different tools. Have you used a prism, yet? I think that's next on my purchase list.

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  4. I bought an aluminum and copper piece of piping recently. It's so much fun to play with light using different tools. Have you used a prism, yet? I think that's next on my purchase list.

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  5. Love this post! I've had a heck of a time getting the results I want with a copper pipe and I think I now know why! Ugh. Definitely going to play around with smaller light sources next time!

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  6. You have me wanting to go out & buy some copper piping and give this a try. This might get my creative juices flowing again... hmm!

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