I’ve become a fan of abstract photography. I think it’s a natural progression for me. Like most, I began by photographing the eye level view. The lakes, the trees, the sunset…you get the idea. I read many articles that gave similar advice: slow down the process, and look all around your environment.
So I did.
And then I began to notice all of the little things around. I spent more and more of my time in the back country taking macro-photos. I’ve become fascinated (my family would say obsessed) with taking photographs of mushrooms. I have way more images of fungi than any non-scientist type should.
But that led me to the now. All the macro time outdoors has morphed into macro time indoors. Actually straight into the kitchen, mainly using oil and water. I’m not sure which I enjoy more, the final product or the set-up process.
I have a fairly simple set-up, which hasn’t changed too much since I began to photograph oil and water. A transparent container placed on a raised glass platform. I use the drawers from a shelving unit since they’re the same height and provide good stability. I usually place the lighting below and off to the side a bit. Nothing elaborate here.
I use different types of glass containers as the shape and texture of the container can have an effect on the final image. The glass for the platform is from a dollar store frame. When I first started taking these pics I used gift bags and colored pages beneath the stand to act as a reflector and provide the background colour. Now I use my own printed images to provide any colour or unique backgrounds. The glass container must be clean. As in ridiculously clean. The camera will pick up every speck of lint that gets left behind. A bit of effort before you take the picture means a lot less work after you take the picture.
I’ve experimented with different types of oils, soaps and other immiscible liquids. So far baby oil is my go to liquid of choice. If you put a drop or two of dish washing liquid in the water before you add the oil, the oil will remain as small bubbles and not re-form into one big blob. It will also add definition to the surface tension of the water around the bubbles.
Afterwards it’s all about experimenting.
It’s been very cold in this part of Canada lately. I find macro photos the perfect way to keep warm doing the hobby I enjoy.