Surface Interactions of Nail Polish with Household Cleaners Look Like Star Systems

chris peun

From frozen flowers, glass bottoms with dried spirits, to close-ups of exploding soap bubbles, leave it to today’s photographers to exploit just about everything and every event just to get that unique image. Chris Peun joins this growing legion of shutterbugs, as he chooses another seemingly mundane subject to shoot. Nail polish.

chris peun nebulae

Peun is a British still-life lensman who photographs for cosmetic and fashion brands, so his choice for nail polish as a subject should not come as a surprise. What he does with this basic fashion staple is turn it from cosmetic, to cosmic! Just look at his macro images of the substance.

nebulae chris peun

Motivated by images of far away universes and galaxies, Peun tinkered with nail polish and some home cleaning substances to produce these other-worldly like photographs in his collection that he calls Nebulae. With his innate talent and keen eye for color and composition, Peun created images you would be hard-pressed to call anything but nail polish.

chris peun cosmic

He meant to capture the richness of the cosmos, so he got some leftover makeup from previous pictorials and went to an art supply store to buy ink, paint and some solvent to help his little ‘cosmic’ experiment. With some lighting techniques and compositional tricks he learned through the years, he began his creation of the universe.

galaxy chris peun

Surprisingly, he had to be quick as some manifestations of the substances as they interacted would take place rather quickly. “Sometimes the recipes evolved very slowly and other times enormously quickly,” said Peun. “It was a battle much of the time to be ready to capture the flux that was going on.”

chris peun galaxy

Hence, what look like star systems are merely changes in surface interactions of nail polish with household cleaners. Hours of trial and error ensued, and it looks like the stars and planets all conspired for Peun, giving him his galactic masterpieces in Nebulae.

chris peun nebulae photo series

See Peun’s amazing images here.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.