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Featured Projects

Ultra High Speed Photography Creates Sculptures Out of Liquid

By Hanssie on November 30th 2014

The slow dripping of water as it hits the bottom of a coffee pot. The leaky sink that drips all night long when you’re battling another night of insomnia. It happens in a millisecond, where one drop of liquid hits another pool of liquid, you can see it splash in your mind’s eye. Norweigan photographer, Ronny Tertnes has set about to capture them and manipulate each droplet into a masterpiece.

Using ultra high speed photography, flash rigs, smoke and different types of liquids, this IT administrator by day creates what looks like blown glass with Earth’s most basic element.


Ronny-Tertnes-Liquid-sculptures-1Using a Canon 7D and Canon 100mm Macro, Tertnes manipulates the liquids almost like a sculpture with a malable piece of clay. The images you see here are done mostly in camera, with some Photoshop work done in post.

Water is mixed with various substances to give it some texture, color, and movement and Tertnes freezes his image just as the drop is hitting the pools of liquid to create dancing abstract water art. I’d imagine this process takes much patience, many trials and errors to get the shapes to conform to your vision, and much experimentation.

In some of the images, you begin to “see” and associate recognizable structures or shapes, much as laying on the ground and looking at the sky, seeing pictures made by the clouds.

Ronny-Tertnes-Liquid-sculptures-2 Ronny-Tertnes-Liquid-sculptures-3 Ronny-Tertnes-Liquid-sculptures-4 Ronny-Tertnes-Liquid-sculptures-5 Ronny-Tertnes-Liquid-sculptures-6 Ronny-Tertnes-Liquid-sculptures-7 Ronny-Tertnes-Liquid-sculptures-8 Ronny-Tertnes-Liquid-sculptures-9

You can see more of Ronny Tertnes’ work on his 500px page here.

CREDITS: All photographs by Ronny Tertnes are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Mac MacDonald

    Crisp, sharp and amazing shots!

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  2. Scott Pfau

    Wow! Very cool. Would be great to see how you get such great images. BTS video??

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  3. Carel Cramer

    very nice!, is there a video/vimeo with “the making of” this beautiful technic? thanks in advance

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  4. Peter Nord

    Such interesting shapes available on a table top without plane fare and luggage surcharges. Vary the fluid viscosity, add a little dye, change the shape and velocity of the projectile, adjust the light – never two alike. Use dry materials with a vibrating plate. Fun and art for the experimentally inclined.

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  5. Greg Silver

    Very cool! I wonder what shutter speed would have been used to capture these types of images?

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    • John Cavan

      Slow, the freezing of the water is done with the flash(es) and not the shutter. I typically do this with a shutter speed of a second or longer.

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