Create Your Own Liquid Flow Photographs [PetaPixel How-To]
You don’t do nearly enough things under water. We’re not talking about the one time you went snorkeling or the many times you’ve gotten drunk in a bathtub. We mean harnessing the flowing, anti-gravity beauty of H2O, agua, liquid ice, Adam’s ale, clear gold… um… yup, that’s all we’ve got. Anyhow, the point is that the physical properties of a water environment are fascinating and we rarely consider utilizing them to create works of art. Well, now is the time for this underappreciation to stop. We’re going to make liquid flow photographs.
To start, empty out a fish tank. We’ll look the other way while you dispose of the fish in any manner you choose. Eat ‘em, flush ’em, throw ’em in the sink. When there are liquid flow photographs at hand, we throw caution to the wind. Clean out the tank and fill it with cool tap water all the way up until it’s a couple of inches from the top. Place a piece of black plastic in the back of tank to serve as a background. Next, take a bundle of pipe cleaners, which you just have laying around like all grown up adults do, and wipe the inside front of the tank to get rid of bubbles. Wait a couple of minutes for all those little bubbles to dissipate so you don’t have any interference when it’s picture time.
Now it’s time to concoct the stuff that will soon be looking awesome in your tank. One mixture you can use is table cream and food dye. Yup, just regular household table cream. Now, you might be asking, “What in the hell is table cream?” Well, have a seat and let us enlighten you. Table cream is a mystical substance, the least known of the creams sold in the US. Its consistency is somewhere in between milk and heavy cream, and it can be found with other dairy products in the refrigerated aisle at your local supermarket. Simply stand in front of the whole milk quarts, close your eyes, curl your toes, and whisper, “Table cream,” as you exhale, three times. Don’t, for the love of all things holy, do it while you inhale. We won’t say exactly what happens, but it’s been a lot harder for us to take liquid flow photographs with only three fingers on our right hand.
Anyhow, now it’s time to set up your camera. Dip a ruler or some kind of marker into the tank and get everything in focus. You might want to put the tank on a sheet of cardboard so that it’s easy to reposition. The stage is now set for you to start dripping your concoction into the water and snapping off photos upon the moment of contact, just before the stuff disperses into the water. It’ll be like “plop” and then real fast, you’ll be like “snap snap snap snap.” For some shots, you can use a delayed flash to capture some different action in the water. Take a moment to marvel at the movement of table cream in the water. Beautiful. No wonder those murderous trolls hold on to this stuff so tight.
So now you’ve managed to create beautiful artwork using a few simple household items. So what’s next? If you’re anything like us, right about now you’ll be feeling this biting curiosity as to what this cloudy, grayish mass of water in your tank tastes like. Well, grab a cup and scoop some. If it’s good, call over some peeps. You’d be crazy to drink a fish tank full of this stuff yourself.