Ferrofluid on Screws = Amazing Macro Photography – Watch on YouTube
If you have never seen this amazing magnetic liquid before, keep scrolling, it’s amazing stuff. In this article, we are putting ferrofluid on screws. Using some lighting and a macro lens, we can get up close for some incredible abstract macro photography opportunities.
What is Ferrofluid?
Ferrofluid is an amazing substance. Tiny magnetic particles (probably Iron) suspended in an oil-based liquid. It reacts to magnetic fields in surprising ways, creating spikes and shapes that align to the magnetic fields of any magnet nearby.
All you need to try this out (with or without photography involved) is a Ferrofluid kit, and a very strong magnet. The magnet we used here has a 45Kg pull weight. Magnets of this strength can be dangerous, trapping fingers and attracting metal objects with a lot of force. So if you get one, be careful and follow the safety info that comes with it!
Ferrofluid it’s self is also very messy. It will stain your skin, clothes and carpets. Make sure to try and keep it contained. We used a piece of clear plastic to keep it away from the magnet and our table.
Ferrofluid on screws
Here’s where things get interesting!
Adding ferrofluid to a magnet is really cool. You can see our results from our last shoot here.
In this shoot, we are adding the ferrofluid to screws on top of the magnet. You can still see those iconic ferrofluid spikes, but the surface tension of the liquid holds it in place.
The magnetic field still affects the ferrofluid on the screw. Depending on the length and size of the screw and agents, you may get different effects.
We also put some ferrofluid on a screwdriver head. The result was a bulbous upside-down acorn shape.
With your ferrofluid on the screw head, you can get some amazing abstract photos. However, when shooting video, you can make the structure ripple and change.
Manipulate the ferrofluid using an object like a cocktail stick, or pipette. Alternatively, very softly blow on the liquid to make it spin and change shape.
Lighting Ferrofluid is tricky. The deep black colour is hard to see unless you position some lighting to accentuate the spikes. We used the Adaptalux Studio Colour Filters to have a larger light source that can be easily positioned.
Adding colours is also helpful to get some stand-out images. The light and colours will reflect along the spikes, leaving a lot of contrast between the highlight reflections and the deep blacks of the fluid.
Colour in the background
The colour for the background in these images was provided by our new Background Gradient Cards. We had a dedicated white lighting arm to illuminate the backdrop and it’s super easy to change out the cards for a different colour.
Changing cards and colour filters can get lots of different styles in a very short amount of time. Experiment and try out different combinations to see what you like most!
If you want to see more ways of using your ferrofluid, remember to check out our previous article and video. There is a lot of fun to be had playing with ferrofluid on screws, but there are many different things to try. Let us know if you try it out yourself!
Finally, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more macro photography tutorials, ideas and inspiration!