Fabian Oefner: Oil Spill

Fabian Oefner: Oil Spill
International Photography Grant 2019

Fabian Oefner is an internationally renowned artist, who uses photography to bring art and science together. His projects are often about showing scientific phenomena in an unusual and poetic way and therefore invite the viewer to stop for a moment and appreciate the beauty that is constantly surrounding us. His studio is based near Zurich, Switzerland.

This series is part of Oefner`s exploration of Iridescence. For this experiment, Oefner poured water into a black reservoir. With the aid of a syringe, he then added small drops of oil onto the water surface. Upon contact with the water, the oil started to expand and form into magnificent structures. Some of them seem to look like stars exploding, others look like a photograph of the iris.

The various colors result from the reflection and refraction of light, as it passes through the oil film and back into the camera lens. Depending on how thick the oil film is, the colors change from blue, green to red, until finally they disappear again.

What I like about the series is that it is quite a simple phenomenon, yet strikingly magic and beautiful. It came to my mind when I was sitting outside my studio on a rainy day and observed a thin film of petrol on a water puddle. So I got inside again and started to recreate the setup in a more controlled environment. Finally, after many different setups and hundreds of images, the exploration resulted in these ten photographs.

Website: fabianoefner.com

Oil Spill © Fabian Oefner

Oil Spill © Fabian Oefner

Oil Spill © Fabian Oefner

Oil Spill © Fabian Oefner

Oil Spill © Fabian Oefner

Oil Spill © Fabian Oefner

Oil Spill © Fabian Oefner

Oil Spill © Fabian Oefner

Oil Spill © Fabian Oefner

Oil Spill © Fabian Oefner

Oil Spill © Fabian Oefner

Oil Spill © Fabian Oefner

Oil Spill © Fabian Oefner

Oil Spill © Fabian Oefner

Oil Spill © Fabian Oefner

Oil Spill © Fabian Oefner

Oil Spill © Fabian Oefner

Oil Spill © Fabian Oefner

Oil Spill © Fabian Oefner

Oil Spill © Fabian Oefner

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International Photography Grant 2019