The Art of Photographing Paint

The Art of Photographing Paint

This is one of those projects that are born out of curiosity. I have seen many photos where a drop hitting the surface of the water is captured at the exact moment of impact, or a drop of coffee kerplunking in the cup, etc. This got me thinking about capturing something with more color. Since colored water, hitting a container of water, would show very little of the actual color, I came up with the idea of have it drop on a clean white surface; in this case a white porcelain tile from Home Depot. Water did not have the right consistency for the effect I wanted, so I thought I might try paint. This was not as easy as you may think! I had to find the right consistency with the paint by adding water gradually, while testing the impact.

For the set up, I used two white ceramic tiles; one for the base and the other for the background. I used one off camera flash at a 45 degree angle and a white board on the other side as a reflector. My camera was set on a tripod and manually focused to the exact spot, while using a remote trigger for the shutter. Then the testing began. Timing is everything! Of course the tile had to be cleaned repeatedly to ensure a nice clean reflective surface, so timing and paper towels are the keys 😉 About an hour later I had a couple pretty cool paint drops captured.

The next idea actually came right from the opposite of what I was setting up. I was adding water to the paint to get the right consistency and I thought maybe I should try adding the paint to the water and capturing it flow through the water. This was also tricky and required many attempts at consistency to get different flows. The last two images were the result of me just playing around with oil and paint.

Let me know what you think in the comments!






The Art of Photographing PaintThe Art of Photographing Paint