Liquid Heart, Splashes & Swearing...Lots of Swearing

A composite image of a transparent liquid heart, with a cloud of red liquid forming within
A composite image of a transparent liquid heart, with a cloud of red liquid forming within

It's fair to say that I've been a bit bogged down creating this latest image of a liquid heart and it has taken far longer than I had planned to get it finished.  It has been one of those shots that just seemed to develop a mind of its own and kept demanding to be tweaked or modified. You know when you start something and half way through you say to yourself "what the **** was I thinking!?!".  Well for me this was one of those kind of shots and I admit to one or two moments of apoplectic rage punctuated by brief but energetic flurries of swearing.  Fortunately though I managed to escape the red haze and have come out the other side with something that I am reasonably happy with and is pretty close to my original concept.

Creating this liquid heart used a technique which I have wanted to try for a while now after hearing Bill Cahill describe how he created his Liquid Shirt photo; you can find the interview here and I really recommend checking it out.  Bill Cahill is a truly phenomenal photographer and anytime he says something you'd better listen! Advice and tips from a guy this good is like solid gold ice-cream, topped with sprinkles of platinum!  If you're not familiar with Bill Cahill's work then you can check out his website at, trust me, looking through his portfolio is an almost biblical experience for any still life/liquid photographer :)

So to create my liquid heart I used a clear acrylic container that was... you guessed it; in the shape of a heart.  This gave the basic form for the liquid to flow around and because of the strong backlighting the container itself pretty much disappears. Pour water, shoot and repeat, splash water shoot and repeat, dribble water..... well you get the idea.  To get the red cloud effect in the centre I filled the acrylic heart with water, then using some clear tubing and a syringe, pumped in undiluted food colouring through a small hole drilled into the acrylic at the back of the container.

The completed image consists of 13 separate shots so as you can imagine there was a considerable amount of post processing involved to get the final look.

This is definitely a technique I am going to explore further, I have some other ideas along similar lines but with a slight twist ;)  Though to be honest, I think for the sake of my sanity and so as not to run the risk of my young daughter's first word being an expletive.....I might just shoot something simple this week.

Cheers Darren