We've seen the horrific imagery spewing out of BP, but oil mixed with water, in the hands of our Shooting Challenge participants, will make you stare, mouth agape, with wonder.

Lead Shot

Used a canon 50D with a 100mm macro lens, 400 shutter speed, fstop at 2.8, but just had a shot glass with a some water and a little bit of canola oil.
-Jordan Mudrack

Gravitational Pull

This shot was done on a Canon Rebel Xsi with a Tamron 90mm f/2.5
-Charles Golonkiewicz


I used a Sony DSC-H20 mega-zoom camera: ISO 400, 1/20 sec, F3.5. I used a clear glass coffee press to contain the liquids and i colored the water with pink food coloring.
-Matthew Hannigan

Olive Noir

Nikon D5000
55mm f/8
1/50 sec.
ISO 200
I poured some olive oil in the glass and took a few shots
-Sharon Hardy

Pale Blue Sludge

Photo shot at f/5.6, 1/60s, ISO 250, with an 18-55mm @ 55mm mounted to a Nikon D90.
The shot consisted of a plastic cup filled with water. I put a few drops of used motor oil, brake fluid, and transmission fluid in the water. The blue tint to the water came from an LED flashlight used to light the cup from the side.
-Avinash Patel

Minty Fresh

Camera: Nikon D40, stock lens
1/800s at f5.6, 1600 iso
I shot this mint sprig in a glass jar filled half with water and half with vegetable oil.
-Travis Webster

Blood Is Thicker Than Oil

This photo was produced my setting a large dish full of corn oil on top of a lamp
Canon 7D, using a remote and tripod
Lens: Canon Macro EF 100mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens
ISO 400
-Luke Salyer

Green Goo

Camera: Canon 50D
Lens: 100mm
F: 6.3
Shutter: 1/200
ISO: 100
This shot was setup with me dripping cooking oil into a cheap wase filled with H20 that I had lying around. Strobist was done by shooting a speedlite (with a blue gel) into a white paper and that is the backdrop for this image.
-Antti Mutka


Canon Powershot s90, 1/1250 sec exposure, f/8, ISO 125. Stirred-up olive oil and water in a white bowl in sunlight.
-Brian Hall

Where's the Lettuce?

"Where's the lettuce?"
This is a well mixed batch of water colored with balsamic vinegar and oil poured into a glass bowl and lit from below.
Olympus E-520, 50mmZuiko OM lens iwth 4/3:OM converter, F/3.5, ISO 100.
-Julie Urban


Canon 550d
ISO: 100
Shutter Speed: 1/800
Aperture: 5.6
Focal Length: 55mm
I took this picture on a very sunny day, mixing sunflower oil, washing up liquid and blue food dye in a $1 food container
-Paul Lowry


Shot with Canon 30D w/ 100mm 2.8 macro lens. I shot at ISO 100, f/9.0, 1/160 sec. I did some post production to using Adobe Lightroom 2.
This oil was just regular vegetable oil and I used a spray bottle to spray water in it. This was done on a glass baking dish that I put white paper under the baking dish.
-Kenneth Tran

Psychedelic Gas Station

Nikon D90
Nikon 18-105mm VR
B+W 67mm Circular Polarizer
I decided to scout local gas stations and business allies for puddles
with oil.
-Nick Sprankle


This shot was taken using a Canon SX20 IS, ISO 80, f/2.8, and 1/1000 exposure. I balanced a glass pie pan with water and vegetable oil on top of two glasses, placed the BP logo underneath, and then used a straw to create the oil bubbles.
-Kristin Echerd


Some of my favorites are above, but there are so many more great shots in our full galleries below...many of which I'd love to feature as well. Wallpaper-sized photos can be found on flickr.

Gallery 1

Gallery 2

Click to view