Camera: Cannon Rebel XTI
Lens: 18 - 55 mm
Settings: F5.6 ISO 800 (approximate, I had to keep changing the settings while trying to get this particular shot.. bubbles aren't very good still models. ;) )
I took my kids out and had them blow a bunch of bubbles so I could get the shot. I had given up and was sitting on a chair just enjoying them laughing when this bubble floated lazily by my head, tried again and got it! My brother's PT Cruiser and my daughters Red Coup can be seen in the shot too. ;)
-Serena Kariya

Nikon D5000, 18-55 3.5-5.6G, kit lense. Tripod, remote switch. 200 ISO, F5.6, 1/125 sec. Crystal ball ~55mm diameter
A friend and I went to watch the sunset, and set up to take some shots. Came back with several, this one took the cake. Also snagged a nice self-portrait in the same spot. Shot at Piper's Lagoon, Nanaimo.
-Rayce Spence

Canon EOS Rebel XS
EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM
Shot @ 105mm, f/22, 1", ISO 100, to RAW with custom white balance and without any postprocessing.
Reading the Gizmodo challenge, I got inspired, and engaged a friend of mine to go out and shoot urban landscapes in Stockholm, Sweden, through a crystal or glass ball. However, the date we set to go shooting coincided with the break in the past several weeks of weather more appropriate to Arizona than Sweden; and shooting Stockholm sights in drizzling rain and with a compact, homogenous gray sky wasn't quite as attractive as we had first thought.
So, we decided, let's do a still life instead, and set off to my friend's home instead.
I had been unable to find glass balls, but I found a pair of half spheres, and a mirror, and we started arranging different motives and taking photos of them, arranging household spotlights to form (mostly) predictable lighting conditions. After a few false starts, a few subjects we weren't happy with and quite a number of photos, we settled on something displaying my favourite part of Cryptonomicon with a half sphere acting as lens enlarging one of the summation formulas. A slide rule became the obvious extension of it, but could there be something more added?
A thermometer was too large, too blatant and just ugly.
A paper clip was too small, too discreet and didn't change much at all.
But then! Hahah! Lowering the angle of photography, we added reflection in the flat side of the half sphere to the refraction that gave us the enlarged text; and we could start placing things next to the book and have them included in the image. And what better, then, than to include Bruce Schneier's grand book on cryptography?
So we did.
And here it is.
-Mikael Vejdemo-Johansson

Nikon D5000, 18-55mm kit lens at 34MM.
Had plans to go to Horseshoe Bend near Page, AZ this weekend. Read the challenge and went searching for interesting refracting spheres. After a broken snow globe and a couple trips to the thrift and craft stores, my mother-in-law came up with this "lens thingy that flips the image. I don't know where the hell it came from." Pretty glad I went over there and picked it up for the trip.
-Mike Kamman

Taken with an Olympus Stylus in Mound, MN
shutter: 1/320, aperture: f/5.1, focal length: 9.1mm, ISO: 100
Some friends and I were floating on the lake after a long day in the sun. It was finally starting to cool off, so I decided to hop out and see if I could catch a shot for the challenge before sunset. Here are my freezing feet refracted through a marble.
P.S. Yes, I chew my fingernails. Yes, I know it's an awful habit.
Thank you for another great challenge!
-Emily Wells

Using a canon EOS rebel t1i with a Tamron 18-200mm 1:3.5-6.3 lens, ISO 3200, F6.3 and 1/15 shutter speed.
Out of all the shots I took, this one came out to me the most meaningful. I used a tripod and placed a glass marble on a mirror and put some cash over it to refract Andrew Jackson's face. To me this photo represents the irony of money and happiness because Jacksons face looks like he's frowning, but that's your call.
-Connor Lee

The stats:
Nikon D80
Shutter: 1/80s
Aperture: F/7.1
ISO 400
Lens, Focal Length: 70-300 @ 85mm
The story:
I hollowed and cleaned out a light bulb, which I then filled with water; I thought it made an interesting way to achieve the spherical refraction, rather than just a water drop of a glass ball paperweight or something. I was walking around Saturday evening taking a lot of pictures with my light bulb and I saw this light-bulb-less lamppost. I thought the refraction of the upside down lamppost right next to itself was pretty cool, especially since it was being refracted by a light bulb. It seemed appropriate. I set the white balance for tungsten light and overexposed it a bit to get that kind of surreal, dreamy effect.
Thanks a lot! I love these shooting challenges that you guys do.
-Chris Lorenz

Camera: Nikon D90
ISO: 800
Time 6:54 PM DST
Date: 7/23/2010
Lens: 60mm f/2.8 AF Micro Nikkor
It was a dark and cloudy afternoon. Then the thunderstorm came and swiftly past. Now all the leaves and flowers were wet and dripping with droplets of rain. The sun came out and made the drops look like liquid diamonds. Reminded of the gizmodo refraction photo challenge I grabbed my camera and started shooting close-ups of the droplets. I like this one with the sun shining through the droplet in the foreground and the geometric shapes created by the out of focus droplets in the background.
-Duane Sager

Camera: Canon Rebel T2i
Lens: Canon EFS 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Shutter: 1/400sec
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure: +0.3 step
Focal Length: 48mm
ISO: 100
No Flash
My first DSLR, so I have little idea what I'm doing. Figured entering the contest will help me practice. After reading the contest rules, I had no idea where to get fancy glass spheres. As I pondered this while pouring my afternoon tea, I looked at my teapot and EUREKA! I filled my teapot with water and started shooting. This photo was taken on my window sill from my office. Not the most scenic view but my favorite photo of the bunch.
-Gabe Camposagrado

What I used for the refraction! was actually the single glass optic for a lensbaby lens, I shot with canon 50d, 100mm macro lens, shutter speed at 1/250 and fstop 7.1. i took a few other shots with the optic, but this one I found turned out the best. This is down in the coulees underneath the train tracks.
-Jordan Mudrack

Taken with a Kodak Z915
Water drops on a spider's web above an ivy leaf. Shot through an opening in the top of an old barrel lying on the ground.
-Stephen Brookes

Conditions were not good for macrophotography this morning: fog dimmed the light and a breeze kept the plants moving. I needed both a wider aperture and a faster speed than usual, leaving very little depth of field. I was interested in getting a good shot of Queen Anne's lace, which is blooming everywhere now, but I find tricky to photograph. When I get up close, the delicacy of the blooms disappears and they look monumental. After a rainy night, droplets festooned everything. I took quite a few shots and liked this one best. The striped stem worked beautifully behind the raindrops, and I love how the sky in the droplets appears brighter than the actual sky. I used a Slik Mini-Pro tripod, a Nikon 5000 with a 12mm extension tube and a AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm lens. I shot manually at ISO 200, f 10 and 100th of a second. When I came into the house for breakfast, I found out about the refraction contest with its deadline the next day - it seemed fitting to enter.
-Elizabeth Blackmer

Many hours of hard work went into this shot. Weeks of landscaping to get my backyard perfect for Gizmodo, j/k This is my first photo contest and I hope everybody enjoys the photo.
Shot with: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, 1/400, f/5/6, ISO-100
-David Gierke

Canon PowerShot s90, 1/500 second exposure at f/7.1, ISO 160, macro mode, manually focused.
This is looking through a glass vase which is shaped like a cluster of grapes, refracting the setting sun and my backyard garden.
-Brian Hall

Canon EOS 350D
55 mm (18.0-55.0 mm Lens)
ISO 400
1/400 sek
I could not really find a good glass marble but I found a funny hollow plastic ball. So I got the idea to fill water into it and freeze it and then see whether it would be clear enough that it refracts.
I didn't want the ice to break the plastic so I set an alarm clock and checked on the freezing ball every hour to then open it up a little at the right time.
Of course it did not work the first time because I opened up to early and the thin ice broke.
When it hat finally worked out though, of course it was not clear enough.
I still wanted to put it into the photo, so I placed it on some tin foil and put my glass marble next to it.
I placed a red chili behind the glass marble, waited for the ice ball to melt a little bit, and took the photo.
That is why it is called "Fire And Ice", because of the hot chili. Sadly the marble is not very good so you can hardly see the chili, but the fun part was the ice anyway.
-Maren Ko

I set Joseph here(My brother's gecko) onto a place mat on our coffee table. I then went into a special "Macro zoom" mode on my camera, and took a bunch of pictures of his eye. It worked great. The settings were something to the effect of 1/2 second shutter speed, aperture of F8 and ISO 80
-Peter Glitsch

Canon EOS 7D Body
Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L USM Macro Lens
Distance approximately 3.5 ft. from subject
No special techniques were used for the shot.
This is a shot of the Mustang logo on the rear of the 2011 Mustang I bought my wife after her many years of begging :)
-Robbie Chambers

This shot was taken with my brand new Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G lens that I got the day of the shot. I took the lens out of the box that it came in and put it right on my Nikon D3000 to try it out. As I was walking around sniping random shots, I saw this glass globe that I got at Disney World not too long ago and I thought to myself, "hey, this could make a pretty nice shot for that spherical refraction challenge Gizmodo is having". Shot taken with Nikon D3000, 1/125 shutter speed, ISO 400, f1.8.
-Ryan Wolfe

I shot this with my Canon 450D and the kit 18/55mm lens. ISO 200, f/10.0.
I've been visiting my friend Josh in Denver. We took a lightbulb and wineglass with us on our trip to Rocky Mountain National Park to see what would happen. This is taken, looking west, from the Continental Divide at Berthoud Pass.
-Tim Holm

Photo taken with: Canon Rebel XS Lens:58mm
July 21 2010
ISO 1600
My partner and I were riding the Ferry between Vancouver and Naniamo when my partner found the challenge (he is an avid Gizmodo reader) I was already fiddling with my camera when I decided to attempt some shots at Refraction (a new concept for me)
This one came out in the end, and I found it really neat how my hand and the lens of the camera fit perfect with his pupil.
-Erin Van Achte

Canon T2i, 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS kit lens, a glass sphere, and my niece Ava.
I happened to read about this shooting challenge just as I was playing with the glass orb in my hand. Of course, it took me a few minutes to realize it'd make the perfect prop, so I rounded up my niece for some photo fun and snapped this pic while the light was still good.
-Dylan Powell

Camera: Canon T1i
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6
Shutter speed: 1/800
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 135mm
ISO: 200
I took this photo during my vacation to British Columbia in Canada at the Butchart Gardens near Victoria. In the middle of one of the most beautiful parts of the gardens was this metallic reflective sphere which was very fun to photograph. I particularly like this photograph because it shows a nice view of the surroundings in the reflections, has a nice pattern of flowers in the bokeh, and also displays the hands and camera someone else photographing the sphere, which I think helped with the composition and made the photo more interesting altogether.
-Dmitriy Smirnov

Not being able to find a nice sphere, I filled this coffee-milk can with water. It's not very sharp, but better than I had expected. First, I decided to take a picture of my very stripy wallpaper, but later I added a little Playmobil character just for fun.
This picture was taken with a Pentax K10D, using a DA* 50-135mm F2.8 lens resting on my kitchen table. I used the small aperture to make everything look sharp in stead of just the can.
Focal range: 135mm
Aperture: F22
Exposure: 15 seconds
ISO: 100
-Moustafa Mansour Baker

Camera Setting:
Canon XTi with EF-S 17-85mm lens.
Shot at f/5.6, 1/40 shutter speed, ISO 400 at focal length of 75mm.
I've took apart an old, broken Nikon 18-55 kit lens and used the core part of it to achieve refraction and took a shot of my "Hot Shot Photographer" mug (The mug had to be upside-down so it the words would appear right side up in the Nikon lens' in the shot). Finally, I was able to shoot something using Canon AND Nikon lenses at the same time.
-Danny Kim

Camera Used: iPhone 4 5mp Camera
I was reading about this contest when I noticed that my Magic Mouse was quite "refracty." Considering the fact that this site is so apple fanboy friendly, I figured why not take the shot of my MBP refracted through my Magic Mouse Using my iPhone 4.
Viva El Jobso!
-Kevin Martin

This is my necklace refracting and reflecting the sun refracted by my baking spoon. Then set as my desktop background and refracted by my crystal ball. I used my Canon Rebel for both photographs, no photoshop, no fancy changes.
-Jessica Morris

Having recently undergone lasik surgery, my wife needs to apply eye drops frequently. I took advantage of this and shot as she administered her nightly drops. Refracted in the drop is her lovable bedside teddy bear of Japanese origin, which I turned upside-down so as to appear in a favorable orientation.
Shooting Info:
Sony A550, Tamron 90mm Macro Lens, f5.6, 1/125 sec. with built-in flash, from minimum focus distance.
-Ben Torode

The used camera was a Nikon D90 with a Nikkor 18-105mm DX lens with the settings to macro
I stumbled across a very small statue in a small park holding a glass marble. The marble reflected the surrounding houses and park quite nicely.
-Peter van der Helm

This is an ordinary kitchen faucet with a very thin stream of water. Taken while playing with the fast shutter speeds on my camera. It was raining that day, couldn't get a good shot of a rain drop up close, so I improvised. Image is unaltered.
Fuji Film HS10
1/4000 sec.
-John Nedick

I have been impressed with the iPhone 4 camera so much so that I am randomly taking pictures while on the run, all the time. That was the case with this picture; the Gear Stick had a cool reflection of the sky and I had to take a picture of it.
Camera Model: iPhone 4
Shutter Speed 1/60 sec.
Lens Aperture F/2.4
Focal Length: 4mm
ISO Speed: ISO-80
Date Taken: 7/19/2010
-Kerim Hadzic

Canon Rebel XT
ISO 800
18-55mm Canon lens
Went up to Solvang for the weekend with a few friends. This shot pretty much sums up our state of mind after visiting several wineries throughout the day. Chromatic aberration was the least of our troubles.
-Luke Cahill

Shot with a Canon 30D with a Sigma 17-70 Macro lens.
I was in Key West FL at a hotel just after it had rained. This plant had some large water droplets left on it, really contrasted the green color.
Was zoomed into 70mm and shot from a distance of about 18cm.
-Andy Graber

My 4 year old son and I spent a good hour making and blowing bubbles... I used a "homemade" mix of soap, sugar and water.... Still need to perfect that mix, but I managed to get some good photos while we tested it.
-Matt Pederson

This is actually a refracted photo of a photo of several photos! First I created "Smoke Signals" then I used different versions of it together in one shot then I photographed that. ...While shooting the session that produced smoke signals I got many different variations in color and flow and combined them together with
"Bogey Magic" to produce the photo "Flower of Life." Earlier this year a friend and coworker in the Audio Visual industry gave me an actual lens from a Varilite VL-3 moving light fixture. This gift was actually two lenses in positive and negative that work together to focus the beam of light- but for this photo one lens was a better option. "Bubbles of Life" is in direct response to your contest. After reading about the contest on your site I immediately thought of my VL-3 lens and pulled it out and decided to shoot some of my favorite light paintings...took 71 shots and this is the 4th of a 71 shot session. There were only 5 that I liked enough to think about entering out of that 71. I used a Kodak C190 on macro setting while in the dark holding the Vl-3 lens with my left hand about six inches from my camera in my right focusing the lens on "Flower of Life" about 2 feet away on my laptop screen- trying to be perfectly still, and in frame. I got lots of blurry shots towards the end as my hands got tired but they're still pretty cool too!
-Brad Bogle