Waterworld -- galaxy

This is a shot I have been wanting to try for a while - oil on water using an off camera flash.

I loosley followed a turorial at http://studio.leavesnbloom.com/2012/04/colorme-weekly-17-oil-and-water.html and you could do it using a desk lamp if you don't have an off camera flash.

what I did (so I can remember!!) -
- Manual mode 1/250 sec f 5.6 iso 100; camera 60 cm *directly* over the surface of water. Spend some time getting the plane of the lens exactly parallel to the surface of the water.
- 100 mm macro lens manual pre-focus on the meniscus of a knife or chopstick placed in the vase.
- I used a flat bottomed glass vase filled with about 8 cm water (to blur the background).
- water surface was about 40 cm above the background.
- off camera flash aimed at the background @ 1/16 power, placed 30 cm from background
- use the smallest amount of detergent possible (less than a drop) & only stir very gently in one direction to avoid excess air bubbles
- make sure the glass is really clean & detergent free before you start

Once I had the camera and flash set up, I changed the backgrounds and found different effects with different patterns & surface textures. I liked this one - a sari my son gave me for Christmas. The colours are refraction from the colours of the striped sari fabric, not a fancy PS trick.

Yay -- one more off my photographic bucket list! :))

If you have time, view enlarged on black for the full astrological viewing experience!! LOL
Gorgeous!! Brilliant job, Lyn!! Fav.

Last night I was thinking of trying this again lol. Each time I do, someone does it... haha... makes me laugh. I haven't done it with detergent before.. just oil and water.
posted January 5th, 2013  
@ozziehoffy Cassandra I found the tiniest amount of detergent stopped the oil forming three gigantic 'gloops', literally just a smear, not too much.
posted January 5th, 2013  
It does look like another galaxy!
posted January 5th, 2013  
Looks like planets. Beautiful colours
posted January 5th, 2013  
this is great Lyn, and better than the tutorial you followed! very spacey! gonna have to give this a go i think. FAV!
posted January 5th, 2013  
@ltodd Mix it in or swirl it through?
posted January 5th, 2013  
@markyl Thanks Mark! do try it - it was not as 'scary' as I thought it would be. Oh, and I forgot to mention to use manual focus on the surface of the water using a knife / chopstick before shooting.
posted January 5th, 2013  
@ozziehoffy a smear a tiny dab on the very tip of the knife & then gently stir the water. The first time I used too much & it made too many air bubbles, & I had to wash, rinse & polish the vase, & start again & re-focus. Use only enough to break the surface tension down a little, but not too much, or it forms a sort of distracting 'foam'. Use gentle 'folding action' to avoid making air bubbles too.
posted January 5th, 2013  
looks awesome Lyn :)
posted January 5th, 2013  
Absolutely brilliant - and thanks for the explanation, I shall try this but it will probably be some months before I get a good enough outcome to post!!! ...fav
posted January 5th, 2013  
@ltodd Cool! lol... ahhh the amount of times I've had to wash and dry things and start over again ... it's insane... but we do it.. and do it again, and again.... hmmm that is insanity!
posted January 5th, 2013  
That looks just amazing! Fav! I might try that as well later on.
posted January 5th, 2013  
Cool shot.
posted January 5th, 2013  
Very cool depth and colors.
posted January 5th, 2013  
Rich and great depth... perfect. Looks like the universe!
posted January 5th, 2013  
Really cool.
I just stole your directions to give it a try someday.
posted January 5th, 2013  
This caught my eye.....awesome shot. Thanks for the explanation. FAV!
posted January 5th, 2013  
Had a go at this once and failed miserably. yours on the other hand is fantastic
posted January 5th, 2013  
They do look like planets. Nicely done
posted January 5th, 2013  
This it the best oil and water shot I've seen! It looks like outer space! I'm going to have to try this, thanks for the info too. FAVE
posted January 5th, 2013  
Great shot and thanks for giving the explanation of how you did it.
posted January 5th, 2013  
I love oil and water shots! They are fun to create.
posted January 5th, 2013  
Wow wonderful, like you say it looks even better viewed large on a black background.....infinity and beyond. fav
posted January 5th, 2013  
Absolutely fantastic Lyn. Fav! This is something I need to try.
posted January 5th, 2013  
@catwhiskers thanks Nan! :)) Looking at other shots after reading the tutorial in the link, I can see the slight 3D bevel seen here is caused by the detergent changing the surface tension. I also thought the non-reflective backgrounds worked better than a CD, books, painted tin or folder for me.
posted January 5th, 2013  
Gorgeous - could be something shot from the solar system :)
posted January 5th, 2013  
Superb photo Lyn, fav. Definitely more pleasing to my eyes than the kind of oil and water photos I played about with during the summer.
posted January 5th, 2013  
Such a great photo.
posted January 6th, 2013  
Wonderful!! Want to try this myself :))
posted January 6th, 2013  
Holy Cow! That is simply stunning. Very real galactic feel and look!
posted January 6th, 2013  
Such a cool effect you got here! Fav for me!
posted January 6th, 2013  
Very well done - super cool!
posted January 6th, 2013  
This is amazing!
posted January 6th, 2013  
Seriously fabulous!!!!!
posted January 6th, 2013  
this is perfect! it really does loko like galaxies!! thanks for the follow - the complimetn I return! Oh and a fav from me!
posted January 6th, 2013  
This is an amazing photograph. One doesn't realise how much hard work goes into getting something so perfect.
posted January 6th, 2013  
Gorgeous! I'm going to have to try this soon!
posted January 6th, 2013  
Wow looks amazing, might have to try it one day :)
posted January 6th, 2013  
Beautifully done Lyn! It does look like a photograph of space. +F
posted January 6th, 2013  
One word Lyn....FAV'D!!!

ps: thanks for the tutorial, I must try this!
posted January 6th, 2013  
well! THAT deserves a place on PP! amazing shot!
posted January 6th, 2013  
Fantastic, that is the best water/oil shot I have seen.
posted January 6th, 2013  
hi lyn your still on here and im back lol great love this
posted January 6th, 2013  
Love how you have presented this.
posted January 6th, 2013  
Fav, awesome shot, far superior to mine and many others I have seen. Excellent work!
posted January 6th, 2013  
this is just so trippy cool! fav!
posted January 6th, 2013  
Wow, Lyn, this is so beautiful, it does look a galaxy, indeed! Fav
posted January 6th, 2013  
Wow! I love this, it really does look like outer space. Fav!
posted January 6th, 2013  
Very cool!
posted January 7th, 2013  
amazing capture..very creative.. love the colors...looks like outer space..fav congrrats on the pp
posted January 7th, 2013  
Way cool!
posted January 7th, 2013  
Love the outer space feel to this one!
posted January 7th, 2013  
This is wonderful. Fav!
posted January 7th, 2013  
Like marbles in space! Good for you for doing one of your bucket list shots! It is so cool! Fav
posted January 7th, 2013  
Definately a Fav.. takes you away to another galaxy.
posted January 7th, 2013  
Wow, well done!
posted January 8th, 2013  
Love it !!! Thanks for sharing the tutorial :)
posted January 8th, 2013  
Ooh this is just beautiful... in fact it's beyond beautiful...! And thanks for sharing how you did it, I'll look forward to trying it one day
posted January 8th, 2013  
Super cool - Fav!
posted January 9th, 2013  
Lyn congrats on #5 for this "out of this world" shot!
posted January 11th, 2013  
Wow!!! Can't believe I missed this one, it's fabulous!! Fav for me (a bit late) and well done on top 5.
posted January 11th, 2013  
Congrats on T20, well done!!
posted January 11th, 2013  
Wow!! Other worldly. I'm so very impressed.
posted January 11th, 2013  
Superb!
posted January 11th, 2013  
Fab shot! On my list of things to try. Fav!
posted January 12th, 2013  
Lyn this is fantastic, what a creative mind you have. Have you ever thought of selling some of these prints they would make great artwork for walls or calendars. Outstanding.
posted January 12th, 2013  
@simster thanks Simone. I struggle with my confidence in my shots way too much for that, but I am really happy with how this one turned out. :)
posted January 12th, 2013  
Another fav for me! I did like this as well last year and still want to do more for improving.

Thanks for sharing your steps and tips. :)
posted January 13th, 2013  
Oh yours turned out so well! I love how there aren't so many tiny air bubbles and the dark tones are just awesome. Love it!
posted January 13th, 2013  
I want to do this :-) Thanks!
posted January 13th, 2013  
Congrats Lyn, amazing shot. Awesome work.
posted January 13th, 2013  
Very cool, this turned out beautifully :)
posted January 13th, 2013  
Awesome picture ! thanks for the tutorial. That was my sunday challenge :)
posted January 14th, 2013  
Wonderful! I don't know what else to say...it does look like a galaxy! :)
posted January 15th, 2013  
Amazing!! I would love to try this, but should probably get better at taking normal everyday photos first.
posted January 23rd, 2013  
Saw this one the oil and water thread...thanks for the tip about the detergent! I will try again tomorrow! :) Love this one...celestial!
posted February 24th, 2013  
@luvmynynix thanks Laurie :) I had fun doing this shot - oh, and don't stir it too much - just 'fold' a few times like you are making a sponge cake.
posted February 24th, 2013  
Oh, my!!! What a gorgeous shot!!! FAV.
posted April 1st, 2013  
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