Ink In Water Pictures

I have been intrigued with pictures of ink in water, I just think it’s the most awesome looking effect. I’ve been playing around in my free time (ha!) with random inks in a champagne flute, and here’s what I’ve done just as a first attempt. Cool, huh?

I plan to do a lot more of these in the future, playing around with different glasses, backgrounds, lighting setups, and of course, ink colors! Neat, huh?

***Update 6/8/11! I spent most of this past weekend messing around with all KINDS of inks, and I got some really cool shots! I know you’re going to be curious which inks I’ve used, honestly I used a lot and can’t remember. I was just having fun and trying all different ones. I’ll look to do more blog posts with more details about how I do these, for now, just enjoy the pretty inks 🙂

2017-10-11T14:38:42+00:00 May 30th, 2011|Ink Reviews|19 Comments
  • agray423

    Very cool!

  • Anon

    And here I thought I was the only one wasting ink in water like that.

    Here's an idea for something that gives you really cool effects (albeit hard to capture on camera without going video); Some appropriate glassware, and a magnetic stirrer, stir the water slowly and drop the ink. I did this in a small measuring cylinder at the time I tried it, pictures were decent, not great, too many bubbles. But it's cool as hell to watch. ^^

  • Beautiful – what inks did you use??

  • Thanks! I was just messing around, I plan to do more 🙂

  • Yes, very cool!  I want to know, too–which brand and colors of inks did you use?  🙂

  • Well, I have been known to do a video or two, maybe I could do a video and picture of the same thing, and show both! That would be cool….

  • I didn't want to 'feature' the inks I used because I was experimenting with adjusting the colors in Aperture to get different effects, so the colors aren't intended to be accurate to the ink color, necessarily. I used Diamine Royal Blue and Diamine Light Green. I had them close at hand, that's the reason I used them, no special reason 😉

  • I just answered below. I thought about doing more with different ink colors to see how different inks act in water. Not that it really matters at all for a practical purpose, but it would just be fun to mess around! I thought about incorporating ink in water shots into future ink reviews, just for aesthetic reasons, not practical ones. Maybe I can even take requests 😉

  • carol

    Just lovely!  A Tiffany stained glass window on the kitchen table.  

  • RGH

    That's a really cool thing to do! I definitely liked how it turned out especially when you started adding the green. I particularly liked the top down shot. Videos would be cool too (but difficult). I'd love to see the luminescent ink in the dark – or the blue ghost with a blacklight.

    Although you've got plenty of different things you could do just with all the inks you have, here are a couple of ideas…

    Alter the pH of the water with a bit of white vinegar (or even use white vinegar straight). A little smelly, but it will alter the way the dye and the drops spread out. It might also affect the dye in funky ways, but that might be interesting too. Equally use things like iron gall inks (or some noodlers) which are known to have different pHs. Come to think of it iron-galls might be interesting because of their make up.

    The other thing to do is increase the density of the "water" by adding very small amounts of clear gelatin, you might have to experiment a bit to find the optimal density for cool effects. Even using hot water vs cold will make different things happen.

    The third thing you could do is drop the ink into rubbing alcohol. This might produce some really weird ugly results, but the idea behind it is that water will spread out very very quickly in the isopropanol (before it sinks?). The downside is that the dye will probably precipitate out – still it could be curious…

    Oh just a thought, you could try "layering" with different densities of gelatinized water.

    (Can you tell I majored in chemistry?!?)

    Anyway I'm sure you;ve got more than enough ideas of your own. I can;t wait to see what you come up with next.


  • Wow, thanks for the awesome suggestions! There is definitely no shortage of cool experimentation to be had! I was already thinking I should try hot and cold water, but I didn't think about alcohol or vinegar! Oh, there could be some cool stuff!! I'm excited to try 🙂

  • Really cool Brian. You need to experiment more with your photo technique. I'm just an amateur and I've never managed to perfect product photography (partly because I'm lazy, partly because the passion died out) but I would like to recommend the best book on the subject:
    Light: Science and Magic

    I have this book and it's absolutely amazing, especially for product photography. Your particular situation (glass objects such as bottles and wine glasses on black/white background) is covered in great detail as well as many others. As a quick example, a couple of very tricky lighting situations are very well explained: how to light white objects on white background and black-on-black.

  • Cerbeos

    Do you have the Full-Res pictures of these anywhere? Talk about EPIC backgrounds waiting to be made!!!

  • I have them on my own computer, but not anywhere public. I've actually toyed with the idea of creating (intentional) high-res desktop backgrounds. 

  • Just a suggestion:
    If you heated the water and cooled the ink, you would get quite a bit of circulation. This is due to convection currents, like when you pour cold milk into hot coffee or lava lamp.
    just thought that would be interesting to try.

    Spencer In Pieces

  • That would be cool! I'll have to give that a shot.

  • Waski_the_Squirrel

    Very nice! I use this when I demonstrate the movement of water molecules in my science classes. I'll have to try taking a photograph sometime.

  • It's a bit tricky to photograph without glare, but it's a pretty simple setup once you get it right. It's fun to drop the ink in the water and take pictures every 5 seconds or so, to see how the ink progresses!

  • Thanks to provide the information of the water color picture and get best lab equipments like <magnetic stirrer hot plate blood donor chair, BOD incubator, fume hood for the better results.