Oil and water

Distorted comedy

I started importing today’s photos to review, and saw a big-ass full moon up over the city.  The boat was thoroughly missed on this one, and I’ve got commitments tomorrow night, so I’ll just have to remember to put April 4th on my calendar and hope it’s hovering over the skyline.

Enough of that, let’s talk about today’s picture. Continuing with the “how small can I make my home studio” trend, I decided to play with some water and oil to celebrate discovering that we had a casserole dish. As I think about it now, I can clearly recall things being prepared in this dish, but my mind somehow never made that connection to shut down internal complaints of “I could do such a neat thing if I only had a casserole dish”.

All in all it was a pretty easy shot, and you could MacGyver up your own version with your own stuff and some good sunlight.  I think the only key element (aside from a macro lens) was the tripod to keep things steady and make sure I didn’t dip my lens in oilwater.

Here’s a quick rundown of the process:

  • Take a casserole dish and fill it with water.
  • Drizzle some oil in the water.
  • Suspend dish above colourful pattern.
  • Focus on the top of the water level where the oil is floating, making the pattern blurry.
  • Take picture and dance a bit. Just make sure you don’t knock the dish over and spill it on your girlfriends antique rug, because she is probably going to be super pissed when she finds out.
  • Listen to Nine Inch Nails on repeat again as you edit.
Behind the scenes

If I did it, here’s how it happened.

  1. Dish suspended over pattern.
  2. Object with pattern. In this case, one of the many absolutely delightful anthologies of Fox Trot comics, by my childhood hero Bill Amend.
  3. A tripod that can flex and get down low will make life easier.
  4. Cuisinart portable blender cups elevating the dish precariously.
  5. Constant light in an uncovered soft box to replace the sun, allowing me to hide from the harsh winter climates.

The Fox Trot collection was the first vibrant thing that I thought of that I could find easily in this apartment, but I’m sure you could find all sorts of neat things.  I also tried with my metro passes in a pile, and got a neat look from it.

I got the shot with my 90mm macro lens, shooting at 1/125 of a second with an aperture of 5.6, and ISO 320. It’s not often I shoot with a wide aperture on my macro lens, as I’m usually trying to get as much depth of field as possible.  Thankfully with a fun abstract thing like this, you don’t have to worry at all.

I would also like to suggest that anyone who isn’t familiar with Fox Trot to go to their local book store and pick up a collection or two. It was my all time favourite comic growing up, and a huge influence on me, with each character having their own little quirks or elements that I looked up to and wanted to emulate. I had the amazing opportunity to meet Bill Amend at the Penny Arcade Expo a couple of years ago (2 years this month, actually), and for the first time had an understanding what kind of anxiety can come from meeting a person that you never even properly thought of as a person before. Up until that point, he was just a name that was stamped on innumerable amounts of comics that brought me laughter every single day. To have the concept of just how much inspiration and influence I had, and realize it all stemmed from this one dude, took me aback. He, however, was totally modest, humble, and cool throughout, which made the entire experience all the better. This went off on a huge tangent, but point I’m trying to make is that if you like to be happy, you owe it to yourself to read the entirety of the Fox Trot collection.

One thought on “March 5 – Jamie

  1. What an intriguing shot. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what it was. I think children, in particular, would love the geometry and colours. Glad you had chosen the Fox family to influence you — it could have been so much worse

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