136 — Lube up your Old Filters

Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast #136 talks about cre­at­ing dreamy images by plac­ing Vase­line or petro­leum jelly on an old UV fil­ter attached to your lens. By doing this you are often able to cre­ate dreamy, impres­sion­is­tic images. The pro­ce­dure is sim­ple; take an OLD UV fil­ter (because remov­ing the vase­line from the fil­ter after use might dam­age its coat­ing) and screw it onto a lens. Then place a wee bit of petro­leum jelly (just a bit goes a long way) on your fin­ger and apply it to the front of the UV fil­ter. Take a few images and see what you get. Play with the level and posi­tion of the blur by remov­ing some Vase­line or mov­ing it around with your finger.

It goes with­out say­ing that you need to do this care­fully so as not to allow the Vase­line to touch your cam­era or lens. The Vase­line should only be on the front of the fil­ter. When you’re done shoot­ing, remove the fil­ter imme­di­ately and place it in a plas­tic bag. Then clean it (I just used reg­u­lar dish soap) when you get home. If you have a few wet wipes along with a dry cloth (to thor­oughly wipe your fin­ger between mov­ing the vase­line around and touch­ing the shut­ter release but­ton) and an extra plas­tic bag or two, you should have no prob­lem doing this.

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Here are some of the pho­tographs I was able to make with this technique;


Crossing Ducks - Lafontaine Park Montreal

Cross­ing Ducks — Lafontaine Park Mon­treal — Image shot with a 50mm lens using a UV fil­ter coated with petro­leum jelly




Dreamy Carmy - Laurier Park Montreal

Dreamy Carmy — Lau­rier Park Mon­treal — Vase­line in front of an old polar­iz­ing filter




Lily pads - Centre de la Nature - Laval, QC.

Lily pads — In this series of images I took a straight shot and then 2 vase­line shots over the UV fil­ter. You can see how com­pletely dif­fer­ent the 2 vase­line images look from one another. This dif­fer­ence is sim­ply due to the quan­tity and position/pattern of the Vase­line on the filter


Links /resources men­tioned in this pod­cast:
Exhi­bi­tion and Film on Impres­sion­ism and Pho­tog­ra­phy (Lorin’s com­ment from pod­cast 135)
Pic­to­r­ial Com­po­si­tion and the Crit­i­cal Judge­ment of Pic­tures by Henry Rankin Poore

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