Ruth Carll's picture


When I do my inks, the views of those are from the side. If you could look straight down at the surface, this is what you'd see!

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fo - tik's picture

Hi Ruth, I'm interested in knowing how you shoot your ink images. Do you start shooting a series after adding the drop(s) then pick the best after the ink has dispersed? Or do you observe the motion and wait for "the moment" to trip the shutter?

BTW - What is the medium you add the ink to? Plain water? Salt water? Alcohol? Vinegar?

Ruth Carll's picture

I started doing these when we hsd a long stretch of rain and i was going stir crazy. Initially i had a lot of trouble with clarity. Being a scientist, i started workng on these like an experiment - changing one thing at a time until i had success. Well, developed my own style anyway! Originally i was trying to mimic other fluid photography with epic fails!

So, this is cold water, in a small glass fishtank with a layer of oil of top. The oil is what gives you control of the composition because it causes the ink drops to come to rest between the water and oil giving you time. You can poke them through with a toothpick when you are ready and know what/where/when you want them.

I do have composition strategies. At the same time, you never know exactly what is going to happen so i do take fast reps. I used to take A LOT of these but experience has definitely cut this down. :)

These recent images came as sort of a biproduct. After i finished making the "front view" i looked at the top of the tank and saw some cool patterns and ran with that too.

Ive been posting this journey in Minimalism, Abstract and Beyond. If you go back through the pages you see the progression. There's a lot of info in those posts as well.

Good luck! If you try some, I'd love to see them in that group! I'm the moderator and ir
I'm the moderator and it would be great to see some new stuff. We also post a lot of "in progress" so fails are just as welcome as wins!

I'm also happy to help if you have questions.

Chris Jablonski's picture

Calls Matisse to mind. Great job again, Ruth!