The photographic explorations of a former film student.

Liquid Experiments

I’ve been threatening to do these liquid experiments for weeks, so I thought it best to get it out of my system. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I did some test shoots and took a lot of pictures. This kind of work is like photographing fireworks without a script of the show. It takes a lot of trial and error and you never know exactly what’s going to happen. My first shots were of the food coloring shortly after it entered into the water. The drop would spread out like a chandelier as it sank towards the bottom. Then, I’d add another drop.

I tried letting it sit for a while to blend a bit and adding a drop or two of another color. The green looks like a flower.

As you can probably see, it’s not exactly sharp. Food coloring blends with the water and lacks distinct edges. I focused as much as I could, but eventually I had to think of a way to use this to my advantage. Patiently waiting to see what the food coloring did when allowed to sit in a still glass of water produced some interesting results. It fanned out into long, swirling trails. I even had some luck mixing two shades of purple. The indistinct edges could work well for backgrounds.

Using one of my shots as a background.


I continued my experiments varying color combination and water motion. At first, I filled the glass from the faucet and let it sit awhile before adding dye. Later, I discovered stirring the water gave an interesting effect.

Adding dye to a freshly filled glass of water was another variation. As you can see, I flipped the shot above and the shot below for artistic effect.

I know this is unorthodox photography, but it provided me with some images I can use for backgrounds and other elements in Photoshop work. Not to mention being a fun experiment and keeping myself and one of my cats very amused.

Next Week: Box and Folding Cameras

I’m going back to something more traditional next week: old cameras. This time, very old cameras, say 70 or more years old for some. Hopefully I can find the old Kodak folding camera.

6 responses

  1. Katie Gou

    Wow, that looks pretty meticulous, I’ll bet that it took a while! They turned out to be great shots!

    March 30, 2011 at 10:24 pm

  2. Wunderful, I like it!!

    April 12, 2011 at 1:30 pm

  3. Awesome photos!! like them alot:)

    April 13, 2011 at 6:55 pm

  4. This is SO freakin cool! It sounds like me and my two furry girls, Jasmine and Isis on a boring Friday night. Light painting in my son’s room, Lol! Keep it up! Awesome!

    p.s. try a 13x 9 glass pan with water and drops of oil. A light source underneath and use colored tissue paper under the glass pan. FUN!

    June 3, 2011 at 12:34 am

    • I may have to try that, I’ve need some more ideas for making abstract backgrounds. 🙂

      June 3, 2011 at 2:13 am

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