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Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Swamp Oil

It doesn't occur all that frequently that I run across something involving nature photography that I have absolutely never heard of before in any way whatsoever. Recently, on several other blogs that I read, I was drawn to some gorgeous abstract images that, as it turned out, were photographs of swamp oil. Now here was something totally new to me, so I had to read on. I also thought it would be great information to share with others who might not be familiar with it.

First, though, take a look at these marvelous images by Mike Moats and Mark Graf, here and here . Reading their blog entries, one learns that the colors in the photographs are not able to be seen by the unaided eye, and that the light must be polarized in order to make the colors visible.

The shapes and colors in the images are caused by swamp oil, which apparently is an oil that seeps into water from decaying plant matter.

Never having heard of it, I certainly have never seen or photographed it, but it is something that I am definitely going to be keeping an eye open for in the future. It certainly makes for some intriguing photographs. Thanks to Mike and Mark for posting the information about this phenomenon. Check out their blogs called Mike Moats and Notes From The Woods.