Friday 27 January 2023

Photographing Flowers in Milk

Youtube, what a great source of knowledge. Whenever I'm stuck for inspiration for photography at home during the Winter months I turn to Youtube. I put in some search words and up pops videos containing wonderful ideas that I've never seen before. 

One such tutorial was on photographing flowers in milk. Not to be confused with photographing pregnant women or babies bathing in milk with flower floating on top, this sole video that sprung up from a totally irrelevant search term concentrated on photographing the flowers and not the models. 

The technique was to mix together a 2cm solution of water and milk so that its slightly translucent in a shallow glass dish. Placing flowers in the milky solution gives the impression that the flowers are emerging from the solution. 

I initially tried placing the dish over a light pad but the bottom light produced an ugly yellow cast in the solution so I used a white sheet of paper below instead. With the camera on a tripod directly above, a simple flashlight was used off center in the natural light of my bedroom as a fill light so as not to produce a reflection in the cameras lens. I took a series of shots changing the exposure with each shot and later chose the best image to process. The small square dish dictated the square format of the finished shot. 

I like the simplicity of the first image above but given the plain background I experimented with adding a texture and a border using Topaz Texture Effects 2. The right choice of texture gives the impression that the flowers are frozen in an ice block. 

Another example of flowers in milk without and with the same texture treatment are below. 

I later played around with adding food colouring but it just resulted in a mess. A watery acrylic paint just sank to the bottom. There must be some way of adding a splash of colour to the surface of the milky solution.

The dilemma now is which image is the best for printing to hang on a wall? It's 50/50 for me but as an experiment I think both images work. I'm now looking for some flowers with a good structure and a larger dish to shoot in portrait and landscape mode to take the technique further.