Photographer Rus Khasanov creates liquid lettering

Remember the silver side of the CD? The way it shimmered with a rainbow of color when you tilted it back and forth in the light? That unexpected iridescence inspired Rus Khasanov to create his photo series “Marmalade Type.” He spotted a scratched CD of ’90s music lying on the street and was hypnotized by its hues, he says. “I immediately had a great desire to experiment in this direction.”

To create his images, Khasanov collected CDs and DVDs and wrote letters on their surfaces with a clear gel. He then illuminated the surface with a lamp and made photos with a Sony a7R II fitted with a Sony FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS lens.

His biggest challenge was dust on the surface of the CDs and DVDs. Compressed air helped a bit, but small particles could still be seen on the surface of the discs in the final images and had to be removed in Photoshop. “I had a really long and boring post-production,” he says.

The result was worth the effort: “When I saw the test shots of this series, I thought, Wow! It looks like computer graphics. It is amazing to see all these vivid and unusual multi-colored textures, knowing that all this is just photos of physical objects.” 

Amanda Arnold is associate editor of Professional Photographer.