Ink photography is a common technique and/or style employed by some photographers — mainly those who specialize in photographing products — that not only adds an extra splash of color to an image, but also texture, movement, and an element of fantasy.
In this informative and to the point video from Rafal Cwiok, Isaac Alvarez, and Lance Heruela of Unplug Production, they give a thorough breakdown of what goes into creating one of these stylistically popular product photographs of a watch surrounded by ink.
These kinds of images are on billboards everywhere, selling everything from makeup to jewelry to alcohol. One might notice a commonality between the subject matter: they all represent or are associated with luxury in one way or another. This is where the decision to combine the products with ink comes into play. When the "ink" is poured into water, it forms wonderfully sensual, phantasmagorical shapes, and when lit appropriately, the smooth gradients of light, from highlight to shadow, only serve to enhance the cloudy curves. The endless color choices and unpredictable yet infinite shapes are a perfect fit for composite product photography. It's no wonder why marketing agencies choose to use this style for their campaigns.
If you're thinking of getting into product photography, this is a useful technique to learn, which you can use to expand your portfolio and market yourself to different clients. Even if it's not something that you want to pursue professionally, it's a fun way to spend an afternoon, and the tools needed won't break the bank.
If you are indeed serious about getting into commercial product photography, be sure to check out Fstoppers' own high-quality tutorial on product photography with Brian Rodgers Jr.