I did want to have a fairly neutral background – which is pretty hard when you do have a crystal ball that gives you a huge field of view – so I ended up taking pictures on the floor, below my camera set on my beloved tripod that can rotate the central column 90°. Even there, I’m a bit annoyed at the reflection from the window – but oh well. (I tried to post-process them away and failed miserably :P)
I played quite a bit with different ways of getting a proper focus – increasing the f-stop to get more “probability of being in focus”, trying to let the camera do its thing with autofocus and pray for the best, setting the camera at “this seems like a pretty good distance” manually and moving the ball up and down, taking multiple pictures as I went… In the end, the one I eventually chose was one of the earlier in the set. I like the hand position, and I also like the curl of hair that happened to go behind it.
The conclusion of that whole setup was that focusing on a crystal ball is not necessarily trivial, and it’s so much worse when trying to do it blindly while controlling the shutter with a remote 😉