Oil and Water Don’t Mix

Published on: August 13, 2020

Filled Under: INNINGS, Outings, PHOTONS Club

Views: 270

On a typical school year, the PHOTONS photo club would schedule an OUTING every month or two.  This year we only got one scheduled outing in during the month of February, and that was a Hot Air Balloon in Hudson.  Then the pandemic hit, and the best made plans went off the rails. Our planned outing to the Lowery Bridge to shoot the change in colors to recognize the opening baseball season was consequentially cancelled.  Well, the baseball opener was cancelled too, so no colors anyway.

So the leaders and members put their heads together ( not really but virtually on zoom) and came up with something we could do and share virtually.  One of members, Sarah Johnson, graciously offered to do a demo on how to mix oil and water and shoot some macro designs/patterns of color and images.  Since we couldn’t really call it an OUTING, we decided to call it and IN-NING.  And a new concept was born.

So the PHOTONS hosted a zoom IN-NING on April 22nd.  Scott Glime send out e-invites and we had 8-10 people join us via zoom to hear how Sarah had created her ( now famous-shown above) macro bubbles of the flag.  Sarah did an outstanding job of presenting a live demo of the setup, mixing, positioning and shooting of an oil and water shot. Even shared a few of the results from the demo.  A few of the viewing members followed along by doing their own version of the oil/water while watching the zoom demo.

Here is a brief break down of the key points in this photo adventure:

  1. Gather and prep your materials, ( shown in the below gallery of images)
  2. Find a good location with minimal interfering light and room to maneuver.  Counter tops are good but can be too high to position camera, so a bench or low table could be better.
  3. Prop up the glass pan with enough room to put your phone, laptop or a photograph under it.
  4. Good idea to now set up your camera so you can make sure the pan/tripod and camera are in a good position ( it gets hard to move the pan once it’s filled)
  5. Check focusing – if using a macro lenses, then no problem at most any distance.  If using a 50mm or a zoom lens, you might have to be a little farther away in order to focus.  I find that a 90 mm macro gives a narrow field of view so you don’t need a big tray or big item under the tray.
  6. Add about an inch of water to the pan, then add a few tablespoons of oil ( cooking oil – like Crisco, canola, olive, etc.) stir. You will find different effects with each type of oil.  For example, olive oil is thinner, more viscosity, while canola oil will tend to be thicker, less viscosity. Thicker oil will make a more prominent lens effect, thus showing a better tiny version of the object under the tray. I haven’t had a chance to try motor oil yet….
  7. Play with lights, play with background, lots of things to try.

Things/ideas you might consider:

  • put colored paper under tray
  • put colored plastic over a small LED flashlight and shine under tray
  • use laptop screen and pull up large images
  • use cell phone and find some colorful images
  • crinkle up some aluminum foil and shine a light on it
  • actually put real flowers under the tray

You get the idea, have some fun.  If you get some interesting shots that you’d like to add to our gallery, please contact Scott Glime, Darrell Tangen or any of the Photons leadership team ( Ruth Dubay, Tyra Horecka, Bill Snoke)

Thanks for watching

Here is a link to the recorded zoom meeting;   https://mediaspace.minnstate.edu/media/oil-water/1_n7i982lf

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