Bucket list: oil and water

Critiques welcome.

After seeing several oil and water shots this week, I decided to give it a try. Harder than it looked, because I had a tough time actually focusing on the borders of the oil, since it was so thin. A drop of dishwashing detergent, however, made all the oil clump up around the edges, and this one ended up being my favorite.

Canon 50 mm lens with a +10 filter
@humphreyhippo @abjihit Thanks for the idea, tips, and advice!
posted November 24th, 2012  
very nice idea and shot...put it on my list too..tks
posted November 24th, 2012  
Love the colours, nice idea :)
posted November 24th, 2012  
I saw a video on this and want to try it.. I really like the colors in this one!
posted November 24th, 2012  
Very cool shot!
posted November 24th, 2012  
Reminds me of stained glass. Nice job.
posted November 24th, 2012  
Very cool.
posted November 24th, 2012  
So cool... Love the shapes. I think this is the best oil/water shot I've seen on here!! Fav.
posted November 25th, 2012  
I love the color.
posted November 25th, 2012  
nicely done... really like the detail and tones!
posted November 25th, 2012  
Very interesting..the color, details and the idea with the dishsoap. will have to try it.
posted November 25th, 2012  
at first I thought it was a honeycomb. great capture.
posted November 25th, 2012  
great, I need this one on my list.
posted November 25th, 2012  
very colourful and artistic Katie!
posted November 25th, 2012  
Cool patterns!
posted November 25th, 2012  
@archaeofrog
Katie, thanks for the challenge, it's good that I can choose from different ideas!
I just looked through the last few months in your album. What I see is that you have many good shots, but most of them are pretty dark (looking at the thumbnail view), it's like the lighting is not enough. I saw two high key shots, but maybe you need to practice more? :) So my challenge for you is to use overexposure creatively, maybe try something with splash of water or just anything else that you like!
posted November 25th, 2012  
@jayberg Thanks so much, J.! Glad to give an idea.

@skatied Thanks, Katie. It's just a piece of striped paper I have laying around, but it sure comes in handy.

@cheribug Thanks, Cheryl! It's the same striped paper I used with my water crowns a little while back.

@boatpainter Thanks so much, Janet! It was fun to watch.

@humphreyhippo Thanks so much, Humphrey! I really liked how the detergent gave it a little more dimension by pushing all the oil together.

@scooter Thanks so much, Scooter!
posted November 25th, 2012  
@kwind Oh wow, KWind, thanks so much! That really means a lot, coming from you, as I really admire your eye for things.

@sadiec Thanks, Sadie. I think I need to find more options in patterned paper if I keep doing things like this ...

@northy Thanks, Northy! I didn't like how my early attempts were so two dimensional.

@bruni Thanks, Bruni! It really was an easy set-up. I think the soap helped make the oil thicker and have better edges.

@sunshinephoto5 Thanks so much, Dawn! It was neat how the oil really clumped into shapes other than circles.

@fullcircle Thanks, Cindy. It's a great one to have in your back pocket for a slow day.

@bobbyj Thanks so much, Bobby! I really liked the patterning in this one.

@alia_801 Thanks, Alia! I thought it was more unusual than just circles.
posted November 25th, 2012  
@velina Thanks for the thoughts and the challenge, Velina. Sounds good. I often struggle with lighting, especially now that it gets dark so early and the lighting at my apartment is pretty dull. I recently got a speedlight though, so I will see what I can do!
posted November 25th, 2012  
Beautiful!
posted November 25th, 2012  
@monicac Thanks, Monica! Glad you liked them.
posted November 25th, 2012  
@archaeofrog You can also try to boost the light in Photoshop or another program. How do you post-process?
posted November 25th, 2012  
@velina I have Photoshop but don't use too much. None of my monitors are calibrated either, and I've noticed pics on 365 often look darker if I view them with my tablet too. How do you generally post-process?
posted November 25th, 2012  
The easiest way to lighten a photo is to duplicate the basic layer and set the blending mode to Screen. Overlay and Soft Light are also very good. It depends on what you want. What I do the most is try with the Adjustments - Curve settings. It's very powerful and can transform the picture totally!
posted November 25th, 2012  
This is awesome! Made such a cool abstract.
posted November 26th, 2012  
@velina Thanks for the tips, Velina, I will have to play around with those this week. I come at Photoshop from a graphic design background, so I'm used to creating things, but not editing or changing photographs! - Didn't tag my pic for today for your challenge 'cause I think it was a day early, but it's definitely bright!

@copperheadglass Thanks, Meredith. It was a fun experiment.
posted November 26th, 2012  
Really cool shot. Love your experiments!
posted November 27th, 2012  
@amandalomonaco Aww, thanks, Amanda! This one really was easy - four cups to hold up a glass pan, some water, some oil, some detergent, and some sunshine!
posted November 27th, 2012  
It's very fun and cool, but I think it needs a touch more light. Good call on the soap, too!
posted November 29th, 2012  
@mstipe Thanks, agreed. I was trying to push the f/ on this one to get more dimension in the oil but it did dull the color a bit.
posted November 29th, 2012  
Sorry I missed this one - love it! Will have to try this too as this looks fun :)
posted November 30th, 2012  
Great shot. Love the lines underneath.
posted December 1st, 2012  
@katharinehubbard Thanks, Katharine! It was fun. And fairly easy as 'ideas when you're stuck' go.

@evahenriette Thanks, Eva! It's leftover scrapbooking paper.
posted December 1st, 2012  
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