Saturday, January 8, 2011

Abstract Revisited

Ever wanted to try something different?  I have days like that and today was one of them.  I had heard of this type of abstract photography before so I thought I would give it a try. 

Here is a list of the items I used to create these images:

1.  Camera (duh)
2.  Tripod
3.  Macro Lens (80mm-200mm f2.8)
4.  Pyrex Glass casserole pan
5.  1 1/2 inches of water
6.  Vegetable and olive cooking oil
7.  Desk lamp
8.  4 bottles of water
9.  Some CD cases and magazines.

How does all this work together?  Let me explain. 

1.  take the 4 bottles of water and space them out to fit on each corner of the glass pan. 

2.  Take the glass pan and set it carefully on the bottles of water.  This gives you about 6 inches of clearance from the floor.

3.  Poor 1 to 2 inches of water in the pan.

4.  Put about 1 tablespoon of oil and swirl it all around (keep the spoon handy)

5.  Place a colorful CD case or magazine under the glass pan

6.  Turn on the desk lamp and shine it on the CD or Magazine (make sure there is no glare coming from the case)

7.  Turn out all other ambient light

8.  Shoot away.  Don't forget to take the spoon and swirl it all around to see what types of effects you can come up with.  Experiment!!!

There are a few things to keep in mind.  You will need to be on manual focus to get any sharp images.  The camera just can't figure out what you are trying to do. 

Try to keep your shutter speed up to around 1/125 or better and try out some different f-stops for depth of field.  I did not go much past f6.3 because I only had a 40 watt bulb in the desk lamp.
So, what do you think?  If you need any additional help to set up feel free to contact me!


  1. Who'd a thunk this but you?

    Love these images!!! Could you take a quick video of your set up, please? Would ADORE painting some of these when I get "stuck" and these are under your copyright =)

    I adore the challenges in these images: depth, color, values, mind is going BOOOOOM!

  2. I was a bit surprised by the results. I thought about the video after I took everything down. I will certainly video it the next time around. Of course you are welcome to paint these!

  3. Thank you, Jason! I look forward to seeing the video/photos of how you set this up!

  4. Neat idea. Thanks for sharing. I'm going to have to try this one out. My grandson (aka partner in crime in photography) will also be keen to play with this concept.

  5. I will be posting a photo of this set up in the near future as well. I might even make it a quick video but I haven't decided.