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Photographing Paint Splatters

Updated on June 29, 2014
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Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) | Source

You have probably seen some advertising for paints on the walls or windows of painting supply stores. They often look incredibly glossy and vibrant. You can either use real paint and make your own samples or you can do it digitally. However using real paint and spattering it on a solid white surface works best so far as photography is concerned.

They are used to entice someone into thinking that they need to paint their home or at least makes them believe that they should change the color of their house or room. This is clever advertising but the images are pleasing to look at anyway.

There is a method by which you can obtain very similar results when photographing splashes of paint. It is not hard and the images can be used as works of art, abstracts, but works of art nevertheless.

Make the set up in a dark studio setting, Get a sheet of Plexiglas and paint one side with a black glossy or non glossy paint. Spray paint works better since brushing it will leave some streaks and no matter how small, they will show on the photographs. Ensure that you wipe the non-painted side of the Plexiglas to get rid of any finger prints dust and streaks. A lint free cloth works quite well.

Place the painted Plexiglas sheet on a sturdy surface Place a small piece of tape on the side that is not painted. Try to use the center of the sheet. Set up you photographic gear and pre-focus on the tape. Remove the tape and get ready to shoot.

Get an eye dropper or even a drinking straw and insert the tip into the paint of your choice. Make sure that this paint is very glossy. Letting the paint fall directly from the can works but you lose some control if you intend on using different colors.

Place the tip of the straw or dropper about five inches or more above where the tape used to be and allow some drops of the paint to just fall on the sheet of Plexiglas.

Add more if you think the drop is not wide enough or if you want to make some changes. Do not move the sheet of Plexiglas to an upright position while you are taking the shots. The sheet needs to be flat and you need to be set up above it.

Once you are done, then wipe the sheet clean and re-use it as many times as you want. It is also a good prop for several other projects, so these Plexiglas sheets are very useful.

The idea is to get the paint to spread in all directions once it splatters onto the sheet. If the results are not to your satisfaction, then simply wipe the paint off and repeat the procedure until you are satisfied with the splatter design and photograph it while the paint is still wet.

Take your shot by using a macro capable zoom lens but do not get too close. Light the scene with a diffused light source placed a little above the surface of the Plexiglas and at 45 degrees. It is good to have your gear on a sturdy tripod and to use an electronic shutter release. This minimizes the chances of causing blur which are very apparent on close ups.

You need to include some of the surface of the Plexiglas sheet in order to get a more striking result. This is done by making sure that the shot shows the black surface surrounding the paint splash.

A variation on the theme is to use more than one color and "paint" a design by dropping different colors to create shapes, designs and so on. You can also place a color paper on the underside of the Plexiglas. Is is not as glossy as painting it but it works just the same.




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Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0 | Source

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© 2012 Luis E Gonzalez

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    • LuisEGonzalez profile image
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      Luis E Gonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida

      rambansal: Thank you

    • rambansal profile image

      Ram Bansal 4 years ago from India

      Randomness is a sort of beauty. Splashing is one way of creating randomness. I love to look at sky scattered with clouds, trees branched out randomly ...

      https://hubpages.com/entertainment/Sky-Views-Unlim...