Amazing abstract photos using Ferrofluid! | Macro Photography Tutorial


Hi guys I’m Ben from Adaptalux and
welcome back to another macro photography tutorial today we’re gonna
be taking a look at ferrofluid which if you’ve not seen it before is a really
interesting little science experiment but it’s also a really interesting
photography subject that we can get nice and close into with our macro lens
so stick around and we’ll get started ferrofluid then it’s a really
interesting little science experiment that people like to try out because of
its interesting properties for those of you that don’t know ferrofluid is a
magnetic liquid so it was invented by NASA in order to move fuel around
inside rockets in zero-g it was pretty ingenious solution if you ask me but
it’s something that you guys can get hold of really easily you can just buy
it on the internet and get a magnet and start playing around I’ve got a couple
of little vials here and I’ve got a pretty badass magnet here this is a
neodymium magnet with about 45Kg pull weight so if I were to magnetize this to
some metal it would take 45Kgs worth of strength to pull it off again so it’s
a really strong magnet if you go out and get one of these there’ll be lots of
warning signs on the packaging but don’t go playing with really strong magnets if
you don’t know what you’re doing so I’m going to pop some of my ferrofluid down
into a little tray and get started taking a look through the camera at what
we can do with this really interesting little subject I’m going to be shooting
both freehand and with the camera on a tripod I’m thinking that we’re going to
need to get close enough to see these little spikes that will be created that
will need to have some sort of stabilization on the camera our lighting
I’ve got various lighting arms different colors whites greens blue red and amber
and I’ve also got some some color filters as well so we’ll be trying those
out at the same time our ferrofluid though that’s that’s the
interesting part and it’s also the challenge with the shoot it’s incredibly
messy it’s a really horrible black stuff you’ll see that I’ve already got some to
to tidy up on it with my with my paper towels and things it comes in these
little vials at least the stuff that I did I didn’t get very much so a couple
of these was enough for me but I’ve just popped it into this little glass bottle
here just to have a go with my magnet and my ferrofluid because if you’re not sure what this stuff does and you just bring magnets in close to it
it’s going to surprise you I guarantee it will surprise you it’s it’s very very
magnetic so you see there that this magnet is already pulling and it’s just
on the side there so the fluid is actually coming with the magnet all the
way up to the top there and you see that it’s actually staining the inside of the
bottle as it does move so you can imagine what this is going to do to your
skin to your clothes to carpet to your table make sure to try and keep it
contained I’m gonna be shooting in a little petri dish here which I think
will be pretty much perfect for getting nice and low down shooting across while
keeping the ferrofluid relatively contained the one thing that I am going
to be doing is keeping our magnet completely separate from the ferrofluid
altogether so I’m going to be shooting with the magnet underneath this glass of
the coffee table so my piece tradition ferrofluid will be on the top here and
then the magnet I’m going to bring in underneath so that magnetism can still
come through the table and affect the fluid but without the fluid sort of
jumping out and going all over the magnet to get ferrofluid on your magnet
it’s going to be a pain to try and get it off I would argue nyeon impossible to
get you magnet clean again I’m going to start
pipetting some ferrofluid into my magnetized petri dish and let’s have a
look exactly what is gonna happen when I do that my magnet is down underneath the
table now I’ve got a few books stacked up to keep that magnet a decent distance
away from the glass underneath it just so that we can put a few initial drops
of the ferrofluid into our petri dish which is what I’m going to do now this
camera is rolling so we should be able to see pretty easily what these first
few drops are actually going to do just as I place them into the dish there you
can see that as I do drop these in here they form into spikes which is exactly what
we’re looking for from this ferrofluid that’s the interesting property of
the ferrofluid you’ll actually see that it’s it’s dripping it in from a
different angle as well just to make sure that it’s it’s right in the middle
of our magnets magnetic field and that’s only a few drops of this stuff if I go
ahead and add in the rest of it we can get some even more interesting features
going on in our petri dish so I’ve now got a full petri dish I’ve actually
taken the magnet away from underneath it’s not sat in those books anymore
simply so that I can have a little bit more control over over where that magnet
is sat because I have a feeling with this much ferrofluid it’s actually going
to want to magnetize to the bottom of our table so I’m just gonna bring this
in underneath here or have a look at what this actually does to our
ferrofluid as we bring it in the table and we’ll see that it’s actually
making some really big spikes and they’re quite far away here but as we
bring it closer and closer and closer the spikes get smaller and more numerous
until yeah I can feel it pulling on on the bottom of the table here so if I
just let go there it will actually yeah that’s magnetized to the bottom of the
table and you can see that it’s actually holding all of that ferrofluid in
the radius of the magnet it’s pulling it in from the rest of the petri dish which is
really quite cool but as I move that magnet around that ferrofluid will
follow the magnet and stain the rest of the the petri dish so
this is quite interesting the closer the magnet is the smaller those spikes are
going to be which you can make use of to get the right sized spikes for our
pictures so I’ve got my Adaptalux control
pod here mounted on a mini stabilizer now this is a blue control pod this is
my personal one it’s limited edition so you can’t get these blue ones anymore or
the black ones they’re exactly the same it’s just that this one’s blue so I’ve
also got a white lighting arm now before we plug this in or bring it
anywhere near our ferrofluid we’re going to need to take off the the beam angle
adjuster on the front because it’s got a big magnet on it the holes the diffusers
on so I’m just gonna unscrew that because if you were to bring this too
close to your ferrofluid and it magnetized to it yeah you’re not gonna
have a good time you’re gonna have ferrofluid all over the end of your
lighting up so just be aware of that as I plug this in you’ll be able to see
what a massive difference that actually makes to our image bringing in the light
from one side is really interesting in from the top and do different things as
well making a little spot light in the middle you’ll actually see that
highlights on here are really quite bright and we’re gonna have a lot of
contrast between the super dark black material and the really light
reflections on something that you might want to do is is keep that beam angle
controller on there and just be very very careful that it’s it’s screwed all
the way on so doesn’t drop off onto your ferrofluid and also that it’s far enough
away it’s not going to magnetize to the fluid and then you can use a diffuser on
there and that will give us a very different look to our ferrofluid where it’s
not quite as many little individual highlights
but it’s more streaks of light going up the edges of those spikes so if I were to
grab our magnet and move this around you can see those spikes actually move
with the magnet so I can use the magnet to go exploring in my subject which is
really quite cool you do need to make sure that you’re not overflowing your petri dish as you’re looking through the back of your camera that would be
very messy but generally the the ferrofluid is going to stay pretty close
to your magnet because it’s magnetized in there the next thing I’m going to do
is change this light just into a different port so I can bring it around
this back side and then I’m gonna see about bringing in maybe yeah let’s do a
red light and see what that looks like I’m bringing in this red LED in from
this left-hand side and you’ll see there that it that’s made some really nice
little catch lights in the back of ferrofluid and as I move that around
those catch lights will actually move around with it as well and that will
stay in generally the same pattern do you then diffuse that red as well
you’ll see that we’re getting red streaks on the other side of the spikes
moving our lighting round to a different angle will change where those highlights
are actually sat changing to say a red diffuser will change them again
it’s time to experiment I’m gonna get stuck in changing all of our lights
around see what I can get with these tiny little spikes and then if I were to
move my magnet away a little bit it’s going to change the size of those spikes
as well so that would be really interesting to play with at the same
time this ferrofluid is probably one of the
most interesting subjects I’ve ever shot it’s also one of the most challenging
macro photography subjects that I’ve ever come up against because it’s so
dark and reflective so messy and fluid and hard to manage it makes it all a bit
of a challenge getting it all together and getting some interesting shots I
think I’ve got some really cool sort of an abstract looking shots with the
different colors though so I’m pretty happy with today’s shoot let me know
down in the comments what you think to the images today and how I’ve set
up this ferrofluid shot I’m not a scientist so there’s probably a few
things that I could have done better but let me know down in the comments if you
liked the video give us a like whilst you’re down there and make sure to subscribe if
you’re enjoying these macro photography tutorials inspiration and subject ideas
that we’re coming out with there’s a lot more to come in the future
until then though guys thank you very much for watching and I’ll see you next
time

12 Replies to “Amazing abstract photos using Ferrofluid! | Macro Photography Tutorial

  1. Woooow Ben, this video is the best until now, really πŸ’˜ the fluid is amazing, great effect in did, and please send me an email, with the links… I really love it… Amazing photography keep the great work, from Portugal cheers to @adaptalux team. Ben the link to the blog the Bitly link is not working, for the fluid post. πŸ‘‹πŸ‘‹πŸ‘‹πŸ‘‹

  2. Glad to see you on YouTube again.. Try this some time around if you are interested, Place a mirror in a dark environment and put a little water and some drops of after shave in the puddle of water on that mirror and then shine some white light around the mix of the puddle. Adjust the shutter to a little longer to capture the lighting. It is a fun project I did and captured which you can find on :
    https://www.eyeem.com/u/22194510

  3. Wow, that looks amazing!!! I just upload some Macro Ideas, maybe you wanna take also a look and let me know what you think;) Cheers

  4. Really good material hope you like ours! Have a look our post and help us aand subscribe too!β€οΈπŸ˜„

  5. Thanks for sharing, such an amazing fluid and can understand how challenging and messy this could be.You produced some awesome images !

  6. Thanks for the video and tips on keeping the ferrofluid contained. I just ordered some off Amazon and can't wait till I have time to play around with it and my macro lens!

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