Dual Eclipse: How I made it (Video and Text)
I learned how water, and oil, can refract an image like a lens, so I wanted to try my hand at it in the studio. It’s not very technical, but it does have its challenges. The abstract image, Dual Eclipse, had no real direction, at first, but soon came to life as I changed colors, and gave a nod toward a science fictional image that came to mind. A 2 minute video and explanations in the post.
Watching the video (only about 2 minutes long) will give you more idea on how the image was made, and below, I give you a few more details if you would like to try it yourself. There were many more steps in my post process editing, but I didn’t want to bore you, I gave only the highlights in the video.
I made some random abstract images with the computer and printed them out on regular printer paper. Just a thought; printing them on glossy photo paper may have different or even better results- it would be worth a go.
Find a glass bowl, or dish, that doesn’t have some type of etching, a brand impression, or writing on it. This sounds easy, but it seemed that every dish in the house had something on it. But my wife did find one bowl that was clear on the bottom for me. I had even ordered a 9×13 baking dish online that seemed suitable thinking there were no markings. When it arrived, a cool looking anchor and other writing was on the bottom, so my wife has a new 9×13 glass baking dish for the kitchen.
I took a bottle of water and poured into the bowl, and when you do this, you could try different levels in the bowl- it could make a difference in the refraction of the images you printed.
We were out of regular vegetable oil, so I used olive oil. It really made no difference that it is a darker color than vegetable oil, you only use drops.
I splashed the drops into the bowl of water until I was satisfied there would be enough. Be careful you don’t make the oil droplets too big. You will be shooting fairly close up and you want to see many more smaller drops refracting your image.
I sat the bowl on some cups to put distance between the image on the paper and the water. Playing with the distance will act like focusing tool to the printed picture. Too close and the effect is not there, too far away and it becomes blurry.
Because I planned on using a tripod, I only used the modeling lamp in my studio strobe. Using the strobe to stop motion with a high fstop, and very fast shutter speed wasn’t an issue. If you wanted to handhold your camera to do this, by all means use lots of light. I did have to slow my shutter speed quite a bit. I also had to move up my ISO to around 640, but that does and introduce some noise to the image.
Play with the angle of light, and consider your tripod capabilities for the shot. Shooting down and right next to a table has its limitations.
Before you grab your camera, look from many angle to see the shot with your eye. At the angle I was shooting, which was almost across the water, and through the side of the bow, I got some cool effects from the water and the oil.
After getting your shots, head to your photo editor and get creative. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with my shots at first, but after trying several things, I came up with a color change and some additions to the image that reminded me of some science fictional world that could have had two suns, thus the Dual Eclipse.
Get posts and seek previews and coupon codes in each Friday’s newsletter, here!0