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Magnetostatic Spawn
Magnetostatic Spawn

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Abstract Black and White (Basic Editing)
Camera: Nikon D700
Lens: Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR
Location: basement
Date: Aug 25, 2008
Aperture: 36
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/250
Galleries: Abstract, Macro
Date Uploaded: Aug 25, 2008

I've been wanting to take this picture since i first submitted a ferrofluid shot:
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But i wanted to wait for the right challenge, and here it was, roughly 2 years later.

Regarding the spikey fluid; it's simply ferrofluid i bought off the internet. I used rare-earth-magnets to manipulate it. It sounds easy, but this stuff moves in weird ways and lots of trial error went into figuring out the perfect geometry such that the magnetic field lines diverge to form the right density and size of spikes...

Setup: I used 4 flashes pointing at a soft-box dome thingy which contained the ferrofluid, silicon wafer and magnets. 2 flashes in front, for the ferro fluid, and 2 flashes with extra diffusing paper to illuminate the rear wall.

As for the surface: I needed a clean fully-reflective surface for this picture, WITHOUT glass covering it. Glass on mirrors creates a gap between the object and its image, which looks huge when doing macro work.

I realized such a surface is not readily accessible... please let me know if you have a source.

I bought some fully reflective aluminum sheets, but they bend and scratch easily. (not washable) Finally, i figure that I should go to the McGill University Microfabrication facility. There, i got silicon wafers which they were throwing out for whatever reason. Silicon wafers are probably the flatess things on earth (total overkill). The only downside is that they are not as reflective as aluminum, so the image is a little darker than the object. oh well. The upside is that silicon is a hard material, so it won't bend permanently and it doesn't scratch easily.

Place: 6 out of 318
Avg (all users): 6.8868
Avg (commenters): 7.8889
Avg (participants): 6.8592
Avg (non-participants): 6.9091
Views since voting: 5774
Views during voting: 299
Votes: 159
Comments: 26
Favorites: 17 (view)

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09/27/2010 07:00:43 AM
Bradley and other manufacturers make all metal (stainless steel) mirrors to be used in schools and and other aplications where glass may not last. Maybe this will work. I love your images. Regards, Guillermo
06/10/2009 01:47:18 PM
I love the result You've come up with.
Nice work. I guess you have to know about ferrofluids capabilities to figure out how to come to this result.
11/30/2008 11:28:38 AM
Holy moly, beautiful images - I was just looking at some of this stuff on the internet yesterday. I thought if I bought some for my husband for Christmas, then I could borrow it to take photos of. :) Now I've made up my mind - cool stuff!
11/28/2008 01:30:01 PM
A mazing!
09/09/2008 02:21:51 PM
Congrats on the 6th place. Excellent shot!
09/03/2008 12:02:35 PM
I don't know if they're big enough, but the mirrors in SLR's are front-silvered to avoid the extra reflections of a glass plane. Get an old broken SLR on ebay and take it apart for the mirror. Maybe get a medium format for the bigger mirror.

Or order one from Edmund Scientific:

Great picture. Reminds me I need more flashes.
09/03/2008 10:43:35 AM
I want some of that fluid!
09/03/2008 09:29:48 AM
Wonderful job on lighting. Thank for the detailed note. Congrats on top 10!

09/03/2008 08:15:48 AM
This is a fantastic shot, really!! I love it and it's going right into my favourites. Don't you just love your D700?
09/03/2008 07:50:50 AM
Really cool shot! Congrats on top 10
09/03/2008 07:36:39 AM
such and interesting image...great work...great tones
09/03/2008 04:09:02 AM
YOU GOT SO ROBBED!!! I knew it.
But at least you succeeded in beating IreneM which is a challenge in itself :)
09/03/2008 03:15:50 AM
neeeerd! at least you beat Irene :)
09/03/2008 12:17:15 AM
Thanks for the explanation - it's a very interesting shape and terrific lighting. Oh, and thanks for exposing me to the concept of a ferrofluid. I might have to buy one (some?) myself!

Message edited by author 2008-09-03 00:21:36.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
09/02/2008 10:40:09 PM
Shiny things lend themselves well to b/w. Great job with the lighting and exposure. Would've cropped out the bottom OOF portion, don't think it adds anything to the shot. (no vote)
09/02/2008 07:42:14 PM
I think I would have cropped out reflection that looks like a third thing (whatever this is!) at the bottom... but it's wonderful even now.
09/02/2008 12:03:59 PM
What an interesting sculpture. You've done well to blend the surface it is on into your background.
08/31/2008 09:34:05 PM
What is that? Whatever it is, it's very cool.
08/30/2008 05:11:32 AM
Beautiful use of symmetry, reflection, cones, tones. An engine part from the Starship Enterprise?
08/29/2008 11:31:21 PM
Very, verrrrrry smooooooooth. I'll be looking for your notes on what this is and how you did it.
08/28/2008 05:41:19 PM
Great tones.
08/27/2008 08:25:15 PM
This one should ribbon. Good stuff!
08/27/2008 12:18:15 PM
This looks brilliant.
08/27/2008 10:17:19 AM
i like the shapes and lighting , nice
08/27/2008 04:12:00 AM
That is very cool. I wouldn't venture to guess. 10
08/27/2008 12:29:16 AM
the lighting is so perfect it looks like something created out of a 3D modelling program. Quite stunning.

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