Still Life Photography of Nail Polish Dropping into Paint

Nail Polish Dropping into Paint


Here is another still life photography project in the “Splash? series where I have been working with cosmetic products for a brand’s hero images. With the creative freedom granted by the client, I originally experimented with water-based paint to develop interesting whirls and splashes as a way to showcase the brand. Due to the success and feedback from the client, I decided to continue with this medium. You can take a look here for another example of that.

For this still life photograph I wanted to create a ripple-like effect in the paint by dropping the nail polish bottle into it. I wished to capture the energy and fullness that erupts from the impact caused by the bottle, and the splashing up of the paint thereafter. This kind of technique is achievable in photoshop, where you can merge the two elements together. But what I was trying to capture was exactly the opposite. I wanted to create the raw look, that which you could tell was photographed. One that could perhaps turn into a real high-speed, messy photography project.

I see a lot of CGI artwork these days, where artists can create almost anything in 3D. These are rendered to look like real images where the difference is hard to notice. Having spent almost 15 years in thr 3D design industry, I know what is and what isn’t achievable, and I know that this kind of organic 3D modeling is really hard to achieve. I have been drawn more and more towards photography for that reason.

I invested considerabe time in photographing the natural behaviour and flair created when the bottle drops into the paint. The result was something very creative, yet real. Photoshop is not the same as photography – the rawness and imperfections are often removed or enhanced through software. I don’t mind these details showing up in the image, as it is not meant to be perfect. These little anomalies and imperfections add to the art in photography. I want my work to relfect my pure dedication and craftsmanship to the artform.

I am fascinated by the undisturbed, creamy texture of the paint that forms the background of the image. The nail polish bottle piercing into this dreamy, white liquid really creates a dramatic focal point. The interaction between the two objects are full of depth and expression. The waves, or splashes, caused from the bottle breaking the blanket of paint, pulse with life.

This image focuses on the shapes formed by the bottle hitting the paint. Although the branding and product is still central to the image, the real detail and emotion is the relationship between the paint and bottle. And how the splashes erupt up after the impact, forming buttery waves of white. I hope you enjoyed this project. Please leave your thoughts below and remember to subscribe to my mailing list for regular updates.