Oil On Water

How to create interesting abstract patterns with oil

11/01/2013 - 00:00

If you're stuck inside due to poor weather or illness and want something new to photograph grab a few drops of olive oil from the kitchen and you could be on the way to creating space like images.

Olive oil doesn't dissolve in water, instead it creates different sized droplets on the surface. These can be photographed with ease.

All you need is a shallow see through plate or dish. It can be glass or plastic but watch that the plastic isn't scratched. I used the lid of a space jar. You also need some way to suspend it so you can get a light behind it shining up towards the camera. I use a McClamp, but you could use books or vases either side if the tray is wide enough. The light can be any form. I'm lucky enough to have a studio light so I use that, but any portable flash or household reading light etc can be used. Your camera should ideally mounted on a tripod and needs to have a close focus facility to ensure a tight crop on the oil bubbles. I'm using a Pentax DSLR with a 100mm macro lens. The tripod is a Vanguard Pro 263 model with a horizontal centre column that allows me to position the camera over the top of the dish.

My set up is shown below.
Pentax cameras in position to photograph oil on water

In my set up I also have a small sheet of polarising material placed behind the dish with a cd case to hold it flat. I also have a polarising filter on the camera lens. This is to add some colour to the background, using the cross polarisation technique, so the droplets stand out. You can also use colourful material or paper behind the dish and light it from the side rather than directly from behind.

To prepare the oil, add some water to your dish then a few drops of oil. Stir the solution so bubbles form at different sizes. Then position this below the camera, making sure the camera sensor is parallel to the surface of the dish so you get even sharpness across the frame.

Switch on your backlight. Then using the auto setting of your camera take a photo and check the result to see if the exposure is right. You can also check for focus issues, background colour and back light angle. If you're using a film camera take shots at settings above and below correct exposure and make notes so you can repeat the results next time.

Here are a few I took. The hairs show why you need to have clean equipment! You can clone out any odd drops/dust/marks later. This one is oil on water using the set up above.

Oil on water using cross polarisation

This one is a similar set up, but the polarising filter has been adjusted for maximum colour, and I've focused closer to home in on one main bubble.

Oil on water using cross polarisation

Here I placed a water drop on a cd case, again used the polarising filter at max strength for the rich cross polarised colours.

Water drop on CD case

Well I hope that was a helpful technique...now I'm off to spend some time getting grid of those dust marks! Note to self: must clean my camera sensor!



Related Photos

vic cross

Link Posted 21/01/2013 - 13:24
Have you been reading DIGITAL PHOTO lately? It has had articles on the same subject for the last 2 editions.
CHEERS Vic.
Born again biker with lots of Pentax bits. Every day I wake up is a good day. I'm so old I don't even buy green bananas.

john111

Link Posted 05/01/2018 - 08:18
If you are thinking about the some problem of the icon of my computer in the window then you need this online search my computer windows 10 support system which has mostly all the latest news.

Nalini

Link Posted 11/08/2018 - 08:24
THanks a lot for uploading this site
awesome performance
how to get free steam games

maryamkhan980

Link Posted 02/06/2019 - 09:33
There are a number dissertation webpages via the internet for quite some time secure evidently announced into your websites. Page Listings

maryamkhan980

Link Posted 03/06/2019 - 10:17
There are a number dissertation webpages via the internet for quite some time secure evidently announced into your websites. additional hints

maryamkhan980

Link Posted 05/06/2019 - 13:03
You have performed a great job on this article. Its very precise and highly qualitative. You have even managed to make it readable and easy to read. You have some real writing talent. Thank you so much. https://www.calculatrices-scientifique.fr

maryamkhan980

Link Posted 09/06/2019 - 10:06
You have performed a great job on this article. Its very precise and highly qualitative. You have even managed to make it readable and easy to read. You have some real writing talent. Thank you so much. https://www.bracelets-anti-moustique.fr

maryamkhan980

Link Posted 10/06/2019 - 16:20
Thanks for an interesting blog. What else may I get that sort of info written in such a perfect approach? I have an undertaking that I am just now operating on, and I have been on the lookout for such info. sky everton condo

maryamkhan980

Link Posted 12/06/2019 - 08:22
Today, I was just browsing along and came upon your blog. Just wanted to say good blog and this article helped me a lot, due to which I have found exactly I was looking. Pavement signs

maryamkhan980

Link Posted 13/06/2019 - 12:53
Thanks for an interesting blog. What else may I get that sort of info written in such a perfect approach? I have an undertaking that I am just now operating on, and I have been on the lookout for such info. coiffeuse-meubles.fr/

maryamkhan980

Link Posted 15/06/2019 - 13:07
Thanks for an interesting blog. What else may I get that sort of info written in such a perfect approach? I have an undertaking that I am just now operating on, and I have been on the lookout for such info. incinerateur-de-jardin.fr

maryamkhan980

Link Posted 17/06/2019 - 09:58
Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting? I'm pleased I discovered it though, ill be checking back soon to find out what additional posts you include. http://sikinteriors.com/interior-house-paint-colors/

maryamkhan980

Link Posted 18/06/2019 - 13:13
I am jovial you take pride in what you write. It makes you stand way out from many other writers that can not push high-quality content like you. scies-sauteuse.fr

maryamkhan980

Link Posted 19/06/2019 - 09:57
I am jovial you take pride in what you write. It makes you stand way out from many other writers that can not push high-quality content like you. guide comparatif

maryamkhan980

Link Posted 20/06/2019 - 08:20
I am jovial you take pride in what you write. It makes you stand way out from many other writers that can not push high-quality content like you. guide comparatif

maryamkhan980

Link Posted 20/06/2019 - 11:58
I am jovial you take pride in what you write. It makes you stand way out from many other writers that can not push high-quality content like you. guide comparatif

maryamkhan980

Link Posted 21/06/2019 - 11:59
I exactly got what you mean, thanks for posting. And, I am too much happy to find this website on the world of Google. tsstbox.com/catalog/polaris

maryamkhan980

Link Posted 23/06/2019 - 10:39
I am jovial you take pride in what you write. It makes you stand way out from many other writers that can not push high-quality content like you. online marijuana marketplace

maryamkhan980

Link Posted 26/06/2019 - 11:45
There are a variety dissertation online sites from the internet simply because develop apparently documented on the websites. Big Directory

maryamkhan980

Link Posted 01/07/2019 - 09:13
You there, this is really good post here. Thanks for taking the time to post such valuable information. Quality content is what always gets the visitors coming. avenue south residences condo

asadqazi

Link Posted 02/07/2019 - 09:10
It is my first visit to your blog, and I am very impressed with the articles that you serve. Give adequate knowledge for me. Thank you for sharing useful material. I will be back for the more great post. ทำนายฝัน

maryamkhan980

Link Posted 02/07/2019 - 09:45
You there, this is really good post here. Thanks for taking the time to post such valuable information. Quality content is what always gets the visitors coming. Approved Local Companies

maryamkhan980

Link Posted 02/07/2019 - 13:43
I was surfing the Internet for information and came across your blog. I am impressed by the information you have on this blog. It shows how well you understand this subject. 넷마블먹튀

harry12

Link Posted 06/07/2019 - 12:04
Thanks for sharing the post.. parents are worlds best person in each lives of individual..they need or must succeed to sustain needs of the family. like this

harry12

Link Posted 06/07/2019 - 12:20
A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. mastercare cleaning

orsola

Link Posted 08/07/2019 - 18:36
This is certainly what is more a fairly superior blog post that many of us without doubt adored measuring. Not likely each and every day which unfortunately utilize the prospects to get yourself a system. voice over

maryamkhan980

Link Posted 10/07/2019 - 07:51
Thank you because you have been willing to share information with us. we will always appreciate all you have done here because I know you are very concerned with our. velkoborsky

harry12

Link Posted 17/07/2019 - 12:12
Hey, this day is too much good for me, since this time I am reading this enormous informative article here at my home. Thanks a lot for massive hard work. Honolulu photographers
Last Edited by harry12 on 17/07/2019 - 12:13

orsola

Link Posted 19/07/2019 - 15:24
This particular appears completely ideal. Each one of these small particulars are created along with large amount of history understanding. I love this a great deal resource centre
Link Posted 20/07/2019 - 07:41
Wow, What a Excellent post. I really found this to much informatics. It is what i was searching for.I would like to suggest you that please keep sharing such type of info.Thanks how can i make money online
Link Posted 20/07/2019 - 11:01
If you are looking for more information about flat rate locksmith Las Vegas check that right away. Medic Alert
Link Posted 20/07/2019 - 12:04
Wow, What a Excellent post. I really found this to much informatics. It is what i was searching for.I would like to suggest you that please keep sharing such type of info.Thanks smore.com/fyc49-ultra-omega-burn-review-any-good
Link Posted 22/07/2019 - 10:18
This kind of seems totally best. Every one of these little information are manufactured together with lots of backdrop information. I prefer that a whole lot Sleep dentistry Melbourne
Link Posted 22/07/2019 - 11:56
Promptly your blog might it goes without saying typically possibly be visible related to each one of blog site people today, mainly because aware studies and as well lab tests. Website Builder

harry12

Link Posted 05/08/2019 - 17:31
Somebody essentially help to make seriously posts I would state. This is the first time I frequented your web page and thus far? I surprised with the research you made to make this particular publish amazing. Wonderful job! nfl live stream
nfl live stream free online
nfl live streaming
cowboys live stream
dallas cowboys live stream
49ers live stream
cowboys live stream reddit
nfl live stream

harry12

Link Posted 06/08/2019 - 18:14
Your amazing insightful information entails much to me and especially to my peers. Thanks a ton; from all of us projectsdeal.co.uk

harry12

Link Posted 07/08/2019 - 19:23
wow what a great blog, this writter who wrote this article it's realy a great blogger, this article so inspiring me to be a better person my review here

maryamkhan980

Link Posted 17/08/2019 - 08:14
This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. This is very nice one and gives indepth information. Thanks for this nice article. dietician in delhi

thomasela

Link Posted 18/08/2019 - 17:09
Effortlessly these pages will likely definitely probably become well-known concerning several sites people, for the careful content or even thoughts. Kundenzufriedenheit messen

thomasela

Link Posted 19/08/2019 - 13:09
This approach is certainly visually extremely best choice. Every single one for problems stresses happen to be designated as a result of various culture competencies. You should the solution quite a lot. BuzzVoice
Last Edited by thomasela on 19/08/2019 - 13:10

thomasela

Link Posted 21/08/2019 - 08:04
Because of this , appear you should important researching previously penning. It's possible in order to healthier put up in such a manner. 먹튀

harry12

Link Posted 23/08/2019 - 16:20
All your hard work is much appreciated. Nobody can stop to admire you. Lots of appreciation. ola ec

harry12

Link Posted 24/08/2019 - 15:37
This is my first visit to your web journal! We are a group of volunteers and new activities in the same specialty. Website gave us helpful data to work. Waikiki wedding photographers

maryamkhan980

Link Posted 26/08/2019 - 14:07
Nice blog and absolutely outstanding. You can do something much better but i still say this perfect.Keep trying for the best. https://www.deli-nagoya.net

maryamkhan980

Link Posted 27/08/2019 - 09:26
A very excellent blog post. I am thankful for your blog post. I have found a lot of approaches after visiting your post. crowdfunding white label

maryamkhan980

Link Posted 27/08/2019 - 15:24
I admit, I have not been on this web page in a long time... however it was another joy to see It is such an important topic and ignored by so many, even professionals. I thank you to help making people more aware of possible issues. end zone video

saqibkhatri

Link Posted 28/08/2019 - 21:27
Thanks for an interesting blog. What else may I get that sort of info written in such a perfect approach? I have an undertaking that I am just now operating on, and I have been on the lookout for such info. Amsterdam tours

harry12

Link Posted 01/09/2019 - 13:15
Whats Taking place im new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It positively helpful and it has helped me out loads. Im hoping to give a contribution & assist different customers like its aided me. Great job voyance par telephone

jonmax

Link Posted 02/09/2019 - 18:40
Are you looking for best and safe escorts in Karachi? So you are the right place. you can get VIPKarachi escorts in low rates and your privacy and safety.

harry12

Link Posted 05/09/2019 - 21:36
This is helpful, nonetheless it can be crucial so that you can check out the following website UX consultants

jone

Link Posted 06/09/2019 - 14:51
That's the reason concentrate on you have to particular footwork ahead of when writing. Is going to be feasible in order to much more appealing article in this way. OffPage

harry12

Link Posted 07/09/2019 - 19:19
I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it easy for me to understand and implement the concept. Thank you for the post. Codeigniter development company

harry12

Link Posted 10/09/2019 - 15:12
I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it easy for me to understand and implement the concept. Thank you for the post. Extra Tall Gates
Add a Comment
You must be registered or logged-in to comment.