Smoke is always fun to shoot !!! … I’ve been having some horrible headaches for the past couple of days and couldn’t really go out plus the weather has been pretty bad also…
So once again I thought of doing some smoke photography in my little makeshift studio which consists of a dining table, some black cloth for the background and one flash…
As I have mentioned before, I was really decided to give it another try at these series of photos using engine oil. I brought in my home makeshift “studio” some oil borrowed from my cousin’s trunk and started setting up the shoot. While in my previous 2 experiences with oil I had no problem using cold water, I knew that with engine oil that situation would change. The water temperature will influence how this oil will react. So , first, on the cold water…took couple of shots and then observed that the oil has thickened and started to look very murky, like some dirty water. It was very disappointing to see that I just couldn’t take any decent shot and it was nothing I can do to change that.
So had to wait around for a bit , just enough for the water to get to room temperature. Now , the warmer it gets, the thinner my oil would get and I was excited that I might just have found the best oil to give me this Multiverse , even better than the first one. I really thought that because of the color of this oil, it’s viscosity, I would get the best shots in this series. So I got everything set again, played around with a colors a bit more and started shooting. After maybe around 50 shots and half an hour of trying to make it work , It just didn’t work. There was nothing I could do to make it work. It was just not cooperating with me at all.
So it was time for my final weapon in the arsenal….warm water. Now I knew that will thin out the oil even more and I could hit the jackpot. So I replaced everything once again, got my oil in and….yet more disappointment. I am still a bit pissed as I was expecting to have maybe the best results using engine oil. But it seems that the oil that is usually less dense seems to give the best results. (engine oil has a density of aprox. 899kg/m3, sunflower oil aprox 920 kg/m3 and olive oil aprox 800 kg/m3) . The last remaining on my list is hydraulic oil. As its density of aprox 870kg/m3 is higher than that of olive oil, and considering the results I got till now, I do not expect much at all from it, but I will still try.
Somebody has suggested I should use massage oil or baby oil, but from the research I’ve done, they have a density of aprox 800 kg/m3 so I might just get very similar results like my first try. So I will leave these two for now.
So next to come – HYDRAULIC OIL. Till then just have a look bellow at few of the engine oil tries. I don’t really like them…(not for this theme anyway…) but still wanted to share them with you.
The density values above are approximated and depend on the brand of oil used as well. So some of them might work better for you than for me.
As the outside weather managed to keep me again inside and like that wasn’t enough, my TV set decided that was time to finally rest and refused to give any signs of life, I again got “creative” in my little makeshift studio (one dinner table, one tripod, one flash and some white sheets of paper) and with a minimum of a glass with water and some ink I started shooting. I gave myself some work to do with creating the splashes and cleaning all the water spilled all over the place but at the end these images were the outcome. I know these are not the best photos out there and I don’t know how well they project the lightly melancholic state I experienced at that moment in their artificial setting but I believe that my modest Sony A550 and an old but always dependable Minolta 50mm 1:1.7 lens did a pretty decent job. Decent enough to share it.
I will appreciate your effort to comment and critique.