I have a confession to make – I am addicted to Pinterest and can spend hours looking at ideas and thinking ‘maybe I’ll have a go at that’. I’ve not done any photography just ‘because I wanted to play’ for ages (done weddings and proper stuff but nothing just for fun). I saw some images of #frozenflowers and immediately created a new Pinterest Board. The images looked amazing, I’ve got a ‘foldio’ portable mini studio and several bunches of flowers due to a recent birthday so ‘jobs a good en’ as we say in Yorkshire.
I hit several problems which I needed to solve – it struck me that this would be a great project to do with children as they could work around the problems – great for combining arts, science and photography.
- I didn’t have a container in mind so hunted around the cupboards – I chose a round one which didn’t give me a flat surface from the sides – first mistake but it did mean I tried out different shapes and depths. It was at this point that my teacher brain kicked in.
- When I put my flowers into the water they floated – when I put flowers in first and poured water on – they floated! I would ask pupils to solve this problem for me. (A quick tour of Pinterest – pour in a small amount of water to freeze the flower to the bottom of the container. Then add a small amount of more water and return to freezer. NB the word ‘small’ is important because if you pour in too much it melts the first layer of water – mistake number 2!)
- I took my frozen block out and managed a couple of ‘OK images’ such as this one.
My water had frozen as ‘cloudy’ and none of my Pinterest images looked like this – how did I get clear ice? Teacher brain now in overdrive.
- Another search – use distilled water! I had some in the garage but if I was in a classroom I’d get pupils to distill their own – there will be a tutorial or a friendly science teacher won’t there?
- Photography session number 2 revealed that distilled water doesn’t freeze at the same rate as tap water (science lesson here people!). What looked like a frozen block was still liquid in the middle – lots of puddles later… I managed a couple of images – I love the patterns in distilled water when frozen – (Art lesson 🙂 )
- I discovered lots of other issues – the thickness of the ice alters the patterns, and affects how much of the flower you can see. Ice blocks melt and move – (especially under a light source! – more puddles). Did you know if you put a block of iced distilled water onto another block they will fuse together … and crack when you pull them apart!
- I love this type of experimental photography as it gives you lots of room to experiment and come up with something unique. There is no end to what you could freeze and what you could learn along the way