Fluid Forms: A surrealist examination of the splash

Feb 5, 2020 | A saucer of milk, food coloring, a medicine dropper and a bolt of black fabric are all the ingredients needed to create an otherworldly liquid-scape. The surrealist scenes on display here are only about six inches across, making prints on this page a larger than life representation. A macro lens or macro extension tube for a mid-range telephoto is essential. Dialing-in the focus can also prove a challenge at these scales, thus necessitating a manually-set focus point. A pair of off-camera, wirelessly-triggered flashes generates an exposure brief enough to freeze the action — lending the pale droplets a porcelain-like quality. Patience and persistence prevails in perfecting the timing, especially in the absence of a mechanized droplet dispensing device. To capture the optimal splash, the shutter must be pressed a fraction of a second after squeezing the end of the milk-filled medicine dropper, which in this case is suspended just out-of-frame over the saucer in my spare hand. Adding a black backdrop makes for clean compositions and augments the ethereal vibe.