Soratama | 宙玉

Aerial ball shooting technique : 宙に浮かぶ玉の中の光景を撮影できる宙玉(そらたま)。撮影のためにはどんな機材が必要になるのか? 撮影のコツや作例などを紹介。

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“Soratama” is a photographing method which I have designed in 2009. The clear ball fixed in front of the lens makes it possible to photograph sceneries in a ball, flowing in the air. As I was testing different lenses, I came up with an idea of using a clear ball as a lens.
This is a common technique used to take pictures among photographers all over the world. However, many people have set those balls on something, or hold them with their fingers when they photograph. For this, the fingers or the object used as a platform get reflected on the picture. The Soratama was designed to prevent this happen. It makes it seem as if the clear ball is floating in the air.

最初に透明な玉で撮影を始めた頃は、玉の周囲は透明ではなかった。

When I first used the clear ball to photograph, the ball’s surrondings weren’t clear.

The first idea was to use a clear vinyl chloride. Pile up two vinyl chloride and cut out a circle. Then fit the clear ball into the circle. Although the quality wasn’t high enough, I knew it would be a good product. The next thing I did was asking a glass artist make a soratama.
This time, the quality was good enough to release the information of making process public. However it was very costly. Then I came up with an idea of using an acrylic ball and an empty snack box.
Despite the lookings, thanks to it’s chepness and easiness this method had spread gradually among many photographers.
 

2枚の透明塩ビシートを使い、透明球を挟んで固定したのが、宙玉の始まり。

The first step was to use two vinyl chloride and fix the clear ball.