Thrifty Thursdays feature photographs taken with equipment costing less than $500.

A vial filled with oil (top) and water demonstrates optical properties of each. The oil bends light more strongly than water, resulting in a more compressed image.

[Apple iPhone 4s - $300]

Light bends as it passes through liquids, and the amount it bends depends on the molecular properties of the medium. I wanted to demonstrate this effect in a single image by contrasting the refractive qualities of oil and water at the same time using a vial half-filled with each.

I set up a mini-studio as below, capturing the image above on an iPhone 4S.