Photography with the crystall ball – a kind of magic

It starts already with the word.

Spherical  Photography. That sounds mysterious, and so much more pretty then the german word Kugel Fotografie
But it is the same 🙂

The technique, basically, is to photograph trhough a (crystal) ball.

Now that seems easy, maybe, but it is not easy at all.
First of all you need the right material. A superb quality ball/Kugel, without scratches or other air bubbles in it.
Since the ball is round you need to take care that it does not run away from you. I did put my crystal ball at the edge of a bridge, but even with the rubber ring below it, I did not trust it to stay there for a longer time.
You focus (sharpen) at the bowl, what means that the background is blurred.
Since your subject is pictured in the ball, not all places are good. In a field with high grass you cannot even spot the ball anymore 🙂

Since the ball is portraiting the subject upside down, you need to fix that in a photo editing program. Ever program is able to do so.
The basic is,  cut out the (original) circle, and safe it as a new image
then flip it and past it back into the original picture.

The photo’s in this album here, start from scratch, just trying out and posting them.
I will add more, of course, later, and  maybe some new hints and tricks and experiences.


– Do not buy a too small ball. 8 cm or 10 cm is perfect, taller are becoming heavy, a 10 cm ball already weight 1,5 Kilo’s.
– Careful with sunlight. The ball functions like a magnifying glass and makes a very strong ‚burning point‘. I was able to put a wooden bank on fire in 3 seconds.
-Carry the ball covered.  I use a woolen sock for it
– Take ’subjects‘ with you to put the bowl upon. Like a tripod, but you can use candles, bottles and more.
– Get a rubber ring, so that your ball is stable and not rolling away

– spherical photography asks another way to photgraph. You must change your point of view.  Get on your knees, roll upside down (or use a tripod), be creative and take time to look throught the ball until you found the proper place to photograph.

Alternatively you can photograph (water)drops, through (wine) glasses and such more

I  shoot most of the pictures with my SLR camera, but a few are made with a compact camera (canon powershot 120),  what make pretty good results as well! Mobile phones can be used as well, take care of the distance, and focus at the sharpness in the crystal ball

Recent photography


July – Spheric at the ‚hausstrecke

Sphere at the photowalk in Kaiserswerth

May – Spheric photography at the Erft.
The Erft is a small river, but for our city and surroundings a pretty important symbol.  At my walk at the Obererft, I took my crystal ball with me.  Sun, water, light, shadow…  Plenty of challenges

April   –  Spheric Photography in my own town.
The sunlight gets stronger, it is becoming different to make clear spherical photos at the middle of the day.

January Spheric Photography at the Classic Remise, Düsseldorf

February Crystal Ball Photography in Südpark, Düsseldorf

History and progression of my photography


A photo walk with our photographing group did open a few new possibilities for photographing with the crystal bowl. The challenge to use natural points to fix the bowl upon, and the prove that the bal can get damaged easily.

A few pictures are added, it is definitely nice to photograph with more then one ball, from different points of view.  And it might be fun as well to see ‚the making of‘, how photographers  act to get the perfect shot.

Lesson learned. We are far away from perfect shots still!

Here a view of the first ‚year‘ of photography with the crystal ball. There always is a point to start, in everything

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03/10/2015  Fotoshoot at Burg Linn, Krefeld

On this beautiful day in autumn we were having a photoshoot, with the bowl, of course, and with some people who have long experience with this kind of photography.

It was nice to try to catch the castle and buildings in the bowl, the different ways of finding the perfect place for placing the bowl.  A tripod was very useful, and uhmm, guess who forgot his?  (yes, me, of course it was me!)

I found a few trees in what I could put the bowl, what gave a few nice views as well. Enjoy the newest batch of pictures that are added in the gallery. The gallery gets bigger and bigger, and with it the ‚we slowly are getting better‘  history 🙂  Click at the picture for some images of our trip.

burg linn auf ring IMG_0159


I think that the crystal ball did wake up from its wintersleep. We went together for a walk around the local lake (Jröne Meerke).  My challenge is to use natural subjects to put the ball upon.  So, as less as possible help from tripod or rings.

As if the challenge to make a proper picture itself is not enough.
The walk around the lake was pretty nice. The trees have not much green yet, but enough shadow to give a nice view.

A selection of ‚Der Kugel am Meerke‘  (the ball at the lake) and the crystal ball in our local parks.

Photoshoot with the crystal bowl  at the Nordpark, Düsseldorf

Click at the image for an impression. Do you see improvement?

K jap wasser1021