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Candles on Oil

Candles on Oil
Photo Information
Copyright: Ian Barredo (tracer) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 748 W: 45 N: 1650] (8284)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-01-15
Categories: Experimental, Macro, Abstract
Camera: Nikon D-80, Sigma 50mm F2.8 Macro
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/50 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Tips and Techniques II, La planète Ian :), Tips and tech [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-01-21 6:31
Viewed: 3701
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 90
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Oil and water don't well mix together, do they?
Here's a technique that produces so much color and shapes with absolutely NO heavy post-processing.

This technique has been around for sometime already ( as i have known later ) but i accidentally came to it when i was playing with reflections on black glass one day.

Here's the setup.
1. A small black container a few cm deep, set against a wall filled with water.
2. put a colored background on the wall.
3. set your wireless flash beside it pointing to the wall. (or you can bounce it mounted if you like)
4. Pour oil ( minimal amount, not on the flash but on the water)
5.stir the oil to make odd shapes.
6. Fire the shutter.

In this shot i used two colored shirts for the BG, the colors are reflected on the surface of the oil, making it like a small micro lens. Then tea lights on an eggshell.

No shot is identical since you can't control the shape of the oil droplets. A choice of your own BG will produce the color you like.

Marylou, ls_photography, shelbeesmom, Natch, jonathanhart, Silke, harpya, crisgotiny, trekks, Chaga, ioana_tm, Silvio2006, KrL, inunguak, wieyos, cunejo200, lilimih33, Soundsangels, bluepianowaits, Dingo, iliannak, celan_mario, lego, suzy, adalfons has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Marylou: thanks a lottracer 1 01-23 07:06
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Critiques [Translate]

Wow! Excellent colors and light Ian,
Love the different elements and textures here,
Great idea and well executed.
- Vincent

Hello Ian :)

Amazing PP work ! Excellent reflections and sharpness. Wonderful colours, a perfect job of good taste. I love it :)
Best greetings my dear friend

This is a terrific shot. The array of different colors makes this photo stand out. Very well done. My compliments.


Very eyecatching!! I love the deep purple shades, as well as the details and POV. Very cool idea, very creative and cool.
Well done !!

Incredible experiment here Ian!! Outstanding crisp clarity..it's almost like I can FEEL the oilyness!! I love the colors!

  • Great 
  • Natch Silver Note Writer [C: 5 W: 3 N: 17] (173)
  • [2008-01-21 8:23]

Dear Ian!
Thank you very much - it is new information for me and very interesting experiment! Excellent sharpness - magic impression!


gotta find my jaw somewhere.. oh there it is just underneath the table..

what more do I have to say. Excellent piece of work my friend!


Hello Ian! Original composition. Wonderful colors. Amazing lightness. Interesting effect. Good luck!

Excellent, this is the loveliest photograph I've seen in years!!

very interesting try on colours, well composed,

Hi Ian

Nice pp aork done and you did it creatively... congrats and TFS

Amri HMS

  • Great 
  • nova Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2441 W: 250 N: 873] (8693)
  • [2008-01-21 16:09]

Light and colors! This is so beautiful.Nice experiment.Very creative as usual.TFS

galing talaga ng mga idea mo dbest bro!


hi ian, an amzing image with great colors,clarity and compositon, so very nice!!!
great work as always, thanks, scott

Oozing with creativity! Pangayo bi hehe

Hello Ian
splendide photo trés créative
excellents détails fins et jolie couleurs
j'aime beaucoup



  • Great 
  • Silke Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2572 W: 237 N: 6132] (24044)
  • [2008-01-22 3:23]

Stunning colours, perfect notes and outstanding composition!
This is one technique I shall have to try out myself!


wow! amazing colors and composition. well done ian.

Hello my friend...

His technique continues unbeatable!
you are the master of creating beautiful marvels and he has a creativity.......
Beautiful the colors of the oil amid water,
their forms and colors.
Great show!


wow what a very creative mind you have, very beautiful image simple object and yet very great impact. Colors are really good. Excellent work


Hi dear friend,
waw! great result!
Excellent technique! Thanks for sharing it with us.
I love the tones, reflections and details.
The egg shell idea is great! Congrats!
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • AJ786 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 743 W: 57 N: 1045] (6681)
  • [2008-01-23 1:12]

Hi my friend,

Indeed a beuatiful setup to produce a very abstract and unique shot. Great work with the composition and POV is magnificient



  • Great 
  • KrL Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 504 W: 135 N: 502] (7619)
  • [2008-01-23 3:02]

Salut Ian,
Pas de PPwork... comme quoi... ;o)
J'adore le jeu de couleur, avec ce fond noir, il est bien mis en valeur.
Bonne journée


Hi Ian, fascinating composition, great abstract painting with splendid colors, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • trekks Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1995 W: 141 N: 3390] (13665)
  • [2008-01-23 6:25]

Good creativity applied to photography, Ian, and this magical color is an expression of wonderful world this can be.

Great work and thanks for sharing it.

Cheers, bill

Hi Ian:
I like the composition of circles and colour..... excellent idea for a neat composition . I like the flames in the photo which give it an interesting dynamic..... thanks Roman:0)

Hi İan,
What a stunning PP work. Great presented..Superb colours sharp and nice idea.TFS.


  • Great 
  • wieyos Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1094 W: 43 N: 2059] (9118)
  • [2008-01-23 21:12]

such a brilliant work! bravo! i like the idea of using the egg-shell...that's unique. the colour is just fantastic!


Hi Ian,
Very clear and sharp image...
Beautiful colors,reflection and light..
Excellent capture and good setup the subject..
Well done my friend..:)


Great geometry and colors. Almost abstract compo, very interesting and effective.


another splendid idea Ian, beautiful colors created from black oil. well captured,good composition bro, well done again.
masubukan nga ito!

Hi Ian,
Such lovely shapes and forms. The colors are incredible. Thanks for describing the technique. Greetings! Danilo

Hello Ian.
Outstanding photo with amazing colours and composition. Fantastic creativity. Thanks for great note.
Best regards

wow ian, super colour and clarity! what a great idea.
everything is wonderful!!!!!!!!

*** Ursula ***

Mmm! Ian, I really like the effect that you have created here! The patterns and colours produced in the water bubbles are truly amazing! Well done!

Kind regards,
Bev :-)
Thank you for your feedback on 'Flower Fantasy'.

pl :-)

Hello Ian!
Interesting idea and very nice colours!
Perfect detail and clarity!
Excellent done, again!
Best regrads!

What a lovely composition, Ian! I like it a lot! Great colors and fantastic details. I like the set-up. Very high picture quality. Good job.
Mabuhay ka!
Freddie :)

  • Great 
  • lopa Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1077 W: 239 N: 849] (8975)
  • [2008-01-27 19:21]

Hi Ian ,
Excellent composition with a great colour.
Great idea and excellent texture.

  • Great 
  • pozaru Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3627 W: 881 N: 2607] (21386)
  • [2008-01-29 1:44]

Superb piece of work !
I love the texture and the colors.


Hi Ian,

I love this effect, I will be getting out the oil and playing with light and colours very soon.


  • Great 
  • Dingo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2505 W: 368 N: 2626] (11966)
  • [2008-02-06 15:11]

Big bubbles, no troubles, or how was that song again?
Nice bubbles anyway, Ian. Thanks for explaining the set-up. I like the overall colouring, especially in the tea-lights. The flames, on the other hand, weren't taken from the ideal angle imo.
Anyway, cool work.

  • Great 
  • lion Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 549 W: 64 N: 24] (5600)
  • [2008-02-10 15:08]

Hello my friend! :)
I like this technique, looks vert abstract and amazing. Great work.


great shot ...
the idea and the realisation are both excellent
many many TFS and inspiring us
ili :o)

Symple fantastic
You are a master
congratulations and TFS

Thx for the tip and idea. Well done

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