Kitchen Abstracts – A Wintry Day Photography Project

1/100 - f/5.0 - ISO 200 - 105mm - 20mm extension tube
1/100 – f/5.0 – ISO 200 – 105mm – 20mm extension tube

It was beautiful weather outside today but a few days ago was a different story. Stuck at home I was looking for something to shoot and decided to revive an old experiment.

I was pleasantly surprised with how differently the results came out this time compared to my first take on these.

Here’s what you need to try a few oil and water kitchen abstracts for yourself:

  • A colorful background such as a wild Hawaiian shirt, crazy tablecloth, torn colorful paper scraps, wrinkled gift wrapping, or colorful placemats.
  • A clear glass baking dish.
  • Something to raise the dish up from the background such as a clear drinking glass at each corner [I did this the first time around]. Or you can experiment with placing the dish directly on the background as I did with this set of images.
  • Enough water to fill the dish over halfway full.
  • Cooking oil.

The set up:

  • Place your background on the ground, floor, or table. Outdoors in the sun on a nice day or indoors near a sunny window on a cold windy day like I had.
  • Place you dish of water on the background or slightly raised above the background.
  • Set your camera up on a tripod or plan to use a quick enough shutter speed to prevent shake.
  • Pour drops of cooking oil into the water and once the movement has stopped start shooting.
  • Aim carefully at the bubbles of oil on the surface of the water. Try moving around to different angles and getting in closer with a macro lens or the addition of an extension tube or two.
  • That’s it! Colorful abstract images created entirely in camera.
1/125 – f/4.0 – ISO 200 – 105mm – 20mm extension tube


Let me know if you give it a try!


Click on the images above to see a larger view,
order prints, or download photos.


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