If you’re looking at a hot and humid weekend forecast, try this instead of going to the mall.
Stuck for something to do on a rainy day? Find yourself a piece of glass, some gelatine and water. I never realized that these simple things could provide so much fun!
Technique #1 – Smiley Pics
Having mixed your gelatine and water let it cool then use a syringe to form beads of liquid gel on a sheet of glass leave it for an hour or so until it has set. Now set the glass up about 40cm above your subject. Set your camera on a tripod looking down onto the refractions in the gel beads on the glass sheet. Your subject could be virtually anything, a flower, printed words, smileys etc. What you are trying to achieve is to capture the subject sharply focused in the gel beads.
Technique #2 – Light Pics
Put the gelatine beads onto the glass as usual. Mount the glass about 12.5cm above a background. Set your camera on a tripod focusing onto the gelatine beads. Set your camera to bulb and fit the remote shutter release. Take a set of Christmas lights and ‘waft’ them under the glass whilst the shutter is open.
- Mix your gelatine/water mix at about 2/3 of the directions on the packet.
- The refractions will be upside down versions of your subject.
- You could mount the glass in a vertical plane to give more possibilities (the gelatine beads will not move).
- Keep the glass as clean as possible
- The gelatine beads will eventually dry out..
- The gel mix can be stored for a few days, To get it to liquefy again add a little water to it and then microwave it for a few seconds, you should then be able to re use it.
- Put the beads onto the glass using an eye dropper or a syringe (without the needle).
- Apparently pig gelatine is clearer than beef gelatine.
- Personally I use a remote shutter release and long exposures for my images.
- Watch out for reflections from lights, window frames etc that can appear in your image.
- Air bubbles are one of your enemies as well and should be avoided.
About The Author
When David Michael Victor Waters (or as everybody knows him – Vik J) works on an oil rig, When he is not being assigned to save the earth from an imminent asteroid hit he takes wonderful pictures.