Things Are Not What They Seem Here......

Thanks, Mike! If you were to have seen the setup you never would have expected that this result would come from it. Why?

Setup was fairly simple, with a black foam core as the base and another black foam core as the background. Some lemon/olive oil was poured into a shallow, round container (the top half of a Pyrex container that I often use for storage of leftovers). This was positioned on top of the foam core, I shut off the ambient lights in the immediate vicinity and began shooting.....

But, WAIT! Didn't I just say that I'd poured lemon/olive oil into the container? That's YELLOW, isn't it? Yep, it sure is! Unless and until it is confronted by a UV/Black light "flashlight" as the sole light source, when it becomes a startling, vivid red. The blue is also due to the UV light source. I was truly astonished by what I was seeing and photographing. The difference between what we see in real life and what shows up under UV light is really interesting and surprising.

As a long-time reader of mysteries, suspense fiction, crime fiction and non-fiction, I was familiar with the idea that UV light/Black light is what is used by various law enforcement agencies and forensic investigators to pull up images of substances which are otherwise not noticeable in normal ambient lighting. In criminal investigation and forensic recovery of evidence, it is particularly useful when this picks up the spots that are missed when inadequate cleaning up is done after someone has committed a violent crime. In somewhat less powerful form, it also is available to the layman, usually as a "flashlight," and is used by pet owners to detect when their pets have left dried and seemingly invisible evidence of not using the litter box or not being able to get outdoors in time.....

The other day on MacRumors, where I hang out when I'm not here, in the Digital Photography subsection someone posted a couple of really intriguing images; he'd already done so earlier (he is the inspiration for the "bubble earth macro" images, for example) and once again we looked, admired and wondered how he'd done this latest bit, which he stated was a different technique than previously used. Someone posted, asking him if this involved UV/Black light and such, and a few of us speculated about other possibilities..... When he finally got back to us, he said that no, UV/Black light was not involved at all, and he went on to explain his version of the water drop technique that you've been wrestling with.....he does it manually and uses either milk or cream or sometimes water-based (acrylic?) paint and puts gels on his flash units and syncs everything as he uses an eye dropper or medicine dropper to create the drops into the liquid. The results are different enough from other water-drop images that I'd seen that I didn't even realize that this is what he was doing. The viscosity of the liquid has a lot to do with that. Anyway, in the meantime my attention had already been captured by the mention of and the whole idea of UV/Black light and after I learned a little more about it, I could imagine the possibilities in terms of photography. Oh, boy!!! So the UV/Black light "flashlight" arrived this afternoon from Amazon and I had fun this evening after darkness fell shooting the items I'd rounded up for my experiments. This one really captivated me right off the bat, even while I was still holding the camera. I thought, "oh, yesssssss!"

Another to come with tomorrow's batch of Week 8's images that I have done over the past several days..... It's quite different than the image shared here, and again uses what on the surface is actually something quite ordinary looking that we use in normal everyday life.......
Thanks again, Mike! I learned from you how valuable and useful it may be to others to go ahead and explain your setup and how the lighting was arranged, etc., even if they may never attempt to do the same thing themselves. It puts everything into perspective and indicates that for the most part the setup was planned and thoughtfully laid out, not just a happy accident....but also allows for the fact that what we see in the VF can still be a surprise to us and to those who later view our images.

Especially when we do something out of the ordinary and use unusual tools it is also helpful to tell people about that, and that may spark some creativity within their own being or not, it may send them to a local store or to Amazon to get whatever items or accessories were used, etc......or it may lead them to explore things in a slightly different direction. It's all part of the fun of photography, isn't it?!
Sep 13, 2007
Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
I learned from you how valuable and useful it may be to others to go ahead and explain your setup and how the lighting was arranged
Just in case it's helpful to know how it came to be that I always explain my setups: When I began displaying tabletop photos in another forum, people asked that I include a photo of the setup. The constraints of my makeshift studio make that very impractical almost all of the time, so people asked that I describe the setup. Then when I migrated to Nikon Cafe, I stopped describing the setup, not knowing the culture here (not knowing whether a description accompanying every image would be wanted). After a short while, people again asked that I include the description of the setup. So, that's what I do.

The main reason it's easy to provide the description of the setup is that I embed that information in the image file's metadata for my own benefit. That's because I might want to make a photo in a similar style a year or two from now and won't want to have to reinvent the wheel. Once the description of the setup is embedded in the image file for my own benefit, it's a matter of copying and pasting into a message here at the Cafe for the benefit of others.
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Nov 14, 2005
Winter Haven, florida
Wow. Isn't it fun to play, plan and wonder. And then when a plan works, you must have been on cloud 9.
I played with it a little, and actually like this image flipped vertically- but that is just an opinion.
I appreciate seeing something I have not seen before and an explanation of how you did it.
Thanks again
Thanks, Rick, Mike and Gary! Hm, that's a thought, flipping the image vertically....... I'll give that a shot! :D.

One of the other shots I took and processed will be among the images I share today from Week 8 in the 52-Week project..... It's interesting in its own way but doesn't have quite the powerful impact that the red and blue one does.
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