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glass in oil photography Make: Projects   Invisible Glass Photography

I wanted an unusual shot to show off the results from my recent soda can label embossing project, and had some success using this unusual method.

glass in oil photography process Make: Projects   Invisible Glass Photography

Clockwise from upper left: Glass in air, glass in oil, color-corrected image, final image with background touch-ups and lens correction.

There is a classic physics demonstration, sometimes disguised as a bit of stage magic, in which pieces of glass are made to disappear by immersion in a liquid that has the same refractive index as the glass itself.

I had a Pyrex glass beaker of about the diameter of the spiral I wanted, and I decided to experiment with the oil method for making the beaker invisible to get the shot. It’s a bit messy, and there are some things I’ll do differently next time, but it works. Check out the details, below.

Technique: Invisible Glass Photography

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Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


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