Ultra High-Speed Photography Creates Human-Like Sculptures from Water

liquid sculpture

Ronny Tertnes employs ultra-high speed photography to create extraordinary liquid sculptures which seem to be coming to life.

Tertnes, a Norweigan photographer, uses a Canon 7D with a Canon 100mm Macro lens to freeze water in such a way that it becomes anthropomorphic. Some of the shapes appear to dance in unison, or even stand ominously as if looming figures have their hands shoved into their pockets.

Aside from the human-like figures, Tertnes also captures wonderful shapes, some look like mushrooms, and others times it’s a perfect heart, all done with emotive colors and serene backdrops.

liquid sculptues

liquid sculptues

liquid sculptues

liquid sculptues

liquid sculptues

Methodology

Tertnes makes the images in-camera but still does some work on Photoshop. To give images movement, texture and color, water is combined with other substances. Tertnes will freeze the frame just as the drop hits the pools of liquid to create abstract art. Tertnes employs a waterdrop kit to help with this. This is a special system of custom control specifically made for waterdrop photography.

Tertnes will use a shutter speed of at least 1/500 and utilizes a flash that is synced to the water drop kit so it fires at exactly the right moment. Tertnes will repeat the process until he gets something amazing. Tertnes also experimented with color gels for flashes and smoke to add intrigue to the photos.

Tertnes offers his photographs in books, calendars and foam prints.

liquid sculptues

liquid sculptues

liquid sculptues

liquid sculptues

liquid sculptues

liquid sculptues

A Unique Challenge

For many, the biggest challenge in a liquid art shoot is finding the correct settings. Although some photographers may write down their settings, this approach isn’t always the best for liquid art photography. Because liquid viscosity, temperature and other variables will not be the exact same in different situations, these kinds of variables are uncommon within the photography community.

Earlier this year PetaPixel featured Australian photographer Craig Loechel who says about liquid art: “The biggest attraction to me is its technical nature. Getting an image that makes you go wow when you see it in the back of the camera is very satisfying to me.”

liquid scupltures

liquid scupltures

liquid scupltures

liquid scupltures

liquid scupltures

liquid scupltures

liquid scupltures

More of Ternes’s can be found on his website and Facebook.


Image credits: All photos by Ronny Tertnes.

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