Corrie White: The art of the SPLASH
Corrie White’s fascination with creating liquid drop images has become an addiction. She started experimenting in 2009 by using a simple camera and a medicine dropper set-up. Since then, she has moved on to more complicated electronic drip kits and her images have become not only more intricate, but seemingly less like simple liquid photography and more like abstract organic artworks.
“I was always interested in macro photography, so this fit in quite well as far as a new direction for me,” White says. “For the first year, I did some experiments manually with a medicine dropper, and within two weeks I was able to get a two drop collision, with the second drop landing on the jet of the first and creating a mushroom or umbrella form. I used my camera pop-up flash, so my first drops were quite basic. There were not many tutorials available then, so I had to figure out the procedures for myself.”
One of the intriguing aspects of liquid drop photography is the unique shapes and textures inherent in the form each drop takes, especially as new liquids and additives are tested and experimented with. “I love to take things to the limit and then to go beyond that to see what is possible,” White says. “It is a challenge to come up with different shapes that haven’t been done before. I enjoy moving the flashes around to get the best result possible with the lighting. There are so many combinations of light and colours for backgrounds that it’s easy to always have different results in the outcomes of the final images.”
White first discovered the art of liquid drop photography on the Internet, a medium that she, in turn, has used to promote her own work worldwide. This includes her e-book The Ultimate Guide to Water Drop Photography.
“Sharing my work on photo sharing websites over the past few years has given me a tremendous amount of exposure,” White says. “I see a lot of people trying things out that they saw from my work. First comes imitation, then comes innovation. From there, artists find their own special methods and style. We all have to start somewhere, including copying other artists’ styles for inspiration, until we find our own.”
White, who identifies her 100mm macro as her favourite lens, is considered a master of liquid drop photography. She credits the “Three Ps” — patience, perseverance, and persistence — for her success.
“You need to start at the beginning and watch what happens when drops fall, so you can recognize the results and know how to proceed to get the desired result,” White says. “A lot of people ask me how to get the tall, fancy, complex shapes. People never get very far with water drop photography starting at the end because they have not learned how to proceed with experimentation. They have not learned by experience to recognize what’s happening and how to make changes to get better results.”
A love of drops and the integral challenge in this photography style’s magical distinctiveness is what motivates and keeps inspiring White. “It is a great creative outlet and helps keep me sharp,” she says. “It’s a challenge to find new liquid combinations that work and new shapes and techniques to keep the process unique. Quite often it’s the work with the parameters that leads to a unique shape; you have to be able to tweak the right things to proceed to a desired image. I find the creativity more in the colour aspect than the shapes. When you have advanced in this field, it is difficult to come up with something unique, but knowing there is something else out there keeps me trying to find the undiscovered.”
White feels it is important for aspiring photographers not to get discouraged with their work when they see only “picture perfect” images by other photographers. “What you see online is my best work,” she says. “You don’t see the ones I delete that just don’t make the grade! I take a lot of pictures and only a few of them make it online. People see the results but don’t realize that a lot of work went into producing the images.
There is a great deal of disappointment when things don’t go right; but on the other hand, it’s exciting when things come together and new shapes appear.”
See more of Corrie White's amazing splash photography at: www.liquiddropart.com