Shooting Challenge: Oil on Water

Illustration for article titled Shooting Challenge: Oil on Water

I'm not asking that you get all preachy, but with BP's ongoing disaster, the topic for this week's Shooting Challenge is irresistible: Capture oil on water.

A quick note before we get on with the challenge: It was brought to my attention that last week's winner used a shot from his portfolio, dating back to 2009. (He apologized, no big deal.) But I want to reiterate, one of the chief rules of our Shooting Challenge is to only submit work created AFTER the challenge is announced. While I don't think the competition is really the most important part of this little club we've formed, it's completely unfair for people who participate in real time, scrapping it out against the clock, while others are merely linking old work they're proud of. We don't have the manpower to enforce research the history of every participant, so I implore you guys, don't ruin the fun by giving into temptation and sending in old photos—especially if you're already a highly skilled photographer. That's just lame. We cool? Cool.

The Challenge

Capture oil on/in/related to water however you'd like. This doesn't need to be some crusade against BP, though it can be. Aim to create something beautiful, poignant, objective or just ugly—that's entirely your call.


The Method

I really haven't been able to dig up much on shooting photos of oil! My first question was, how do you add color to clear oils? A colored backdrop behind a clear container might work.

Meanwhile, the lead image by tlindenbaum mixes water, vegetable shortening, olive oil, butter and Worcestershire sauce for the colorful effect.

But I'm really intrigued about the possibility of using non-water-soluble oil paints on water. Does anyone in the comments have experience with that? (And of course, dumping crude all over the place might not be a horrible way to go, either.)


The Rules - READ THESE

1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos need to be taken the week of the contest. (No portfolio linking or it spoils the "challenge" part.)
3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings, technique and story behind shot.
4. Email submissions to, not me.
5. Include 800px wide image (200KB or less) AND a 2560x1600 sized in email. (The 800px image is the one judged, so feel free to crop/alter the larger image for wallpaper-sized dimensions.)
6. One submission per person.


Send your best entries by Sunday, June 6th at 11PM Eastern to with "Oil" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameOIL.jpg (800px) and FirstnameLastnameOILWALLPAPER.jpg (2560px) naming conventions. Include your shooting summary (camera, lens, ISO, etc) in the body of the email along with a story of the shot in a few sentences.

[Lead image by tlindenbaum]

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Arggh! there goes a...snake a snake!

Not mine, but really cool