Tutorial 1

Oil on Water Technique – By Ingrid Douglas

  • Camera/macro lens/fully charged batteries/cable release/flash.
  • Torches or small lamps. Any light source to light the patterns below the water dish.
  • Need a couple of extension leads and power boards.
  • Tripod (one that you can move the centre column out or upside down)
    We  will set up 2 people per set up.  Also no fans or aircon as this air circulation has detrimental effect on the oil on water.
  • Bring some brightly coloured fabric or gift wrapping paper. Smaller patterns work well.
  • Oil – A lovely thick olive oil works wonderful, but is a little yellow/golden.
  • Eye dropper and small tiny container. You do not need a lot of oil at all. (we have trialled many oils and had great success with clear coconut oil and some clear hair oil!)
  • Clear pyrex dish with a handle/lip on it. This needs to be elevated on something of your choice eg  4 equal    It is a great idea to leave enough room underneath for you to be able to change the paper etc.  So anything that you can think of to elevate the glass dish above the coloured background – about 6-8inches works well.

The glass dish will be filled with as much water.  The more water the better so that some of the writing on the pyrex dishes do not show up.
A little detergent is then added and stirred gently (do not make any bubbles).  This ensures the oil droplets retain some form.  Without the detergent the oil droplets tend to be flatter.  It is your choice.
We have found that by using an eyedropper you have better control of the oil droplet sizes you wish to obtain.  However, pouring a little oil on top of the water works as well.  By the end of the evening you will probably have a dish full of oil droplets and have fun capturing patterns galore.

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