Panasonic LUMIX GX8 + Olympus M.Zuiko 60mm f2.8 Macro, ISO 200, 1/60 s, f/3.2, off-camera flash

This week’s picture features oil bubbles in water with a colorful background. What makes the interesting effects in this picture, are the different shapes and lines created by the refractions close to the phase boundaries between oil and water as well as the shape of the glass bowl.

I mounted the camera on the reversed tripod with the lens facing down, a few centimeters above the bowl. The key for good colors and less reflections is to darken the surroundingĀ  and light the bowl from below. I tried continouslight and an off-camera flash to light the colorful objects placed below the bowl. In my experience, the flash worked better in lighting the whole area up. Also, the TTL setting of the flash allowed to automatically adjust the flash output, which gives just some extra freedom to select aperture and shutter speed. However, no light should directly hit the camera from the the flash, but all light should be reflected by the background and refracted by the bowl and liqudids. In this way, the colors and shapes stand more out and a higher contrast is achieved.

Next time, when I try to work with liquids in my setup, I will choose a more solid surface. Even touching the camera to change settings or taking a picture was moving the liquid and would destroy the composition. To minimize the induced shake (for the liquids and the camera), I used a wire shutter. The bubbles in the water were manipulated using a toothpick.