Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Smoke on the water

So tonight I tried my hand at photographing "ink" in water. (I say ink but what I actually used was food colouring as I believed it would more or less serve the same purpose.)

My plan was simple... but elegant... well maybe not elegant but it was definately simple!
The plan was to grab a fish tank, fill it with water, drop some inky substances into the water and photograph the results so I might get some smokey/inky type images for use as stock images and such.

On attempting to buy a fishtank I quickly found they were either too big, too expensive or out of stock. It couldn't be too big as I knew I'd need to clean the water regularly otherwise the ink or so would murk the water up too much for subsequent shots, additionally I knew I'd want flat, clear and undistorting glass.
In the end I had no choice but to get a rectangular vase, the glass was not quite flat and distorted a little but I felt it would suffice for the sake of experimentation at least.

I quickly learned two things whilst setting up. If I used cold water the glass would get covered in condensation on the oustide and/or mist up on the inside whilst using hot water caused little bubbles to appear in the shots.

You can see the bubbles in some of the shots below.

In the end i'm not very happy with the results but feel I've learnt a thing or two. I didn't manage very even lighting, the vase is all together too small, it was hard to find a suitable angle that didn't distort the image or where a chunkier part of the vase wasn't in frame that reflected the light.

I think next time I attempt this I will try to use a proper fish tank and a larger one, I think the images would be better if the fish tank were large enough that it was only half full and I could take a picture that includes the water line.