I officially now have a giant pile of 32z midnights in lotso colors and am able to specifically position and heat lamps to layer, and blend colors with lava movement on a scale with real depth. Previously I was just lumping lamps together and taking opportunity pics.
I'm setting the lamps up then heating them until they spike and turning them off. I can easily move the globes without causing cloudiness and have an easy to see palette of colors to consider when positioning the lamps and layering and/or blending the colors of the globes before I cut them on again. Once in position and lit I just wait for the flow to begin the magic.
Of course the crisp clear pics are with a flash but I'm digging the shots that are soley lit by the lamps themselves. Without flash the midnight bases fade away and the wonders of only the lava and its reflections are front and center.
I found the planned lamp pics to generally need no enhancement , (there are a couple that kodak instant fix have been used on like the neon reverse with the lamps and the mask and I'm learning how to take decent but will get better closeups so I don't have to crop unless it would be fun).
I got my first lava 2/2008 after having truly loved them for years but not acting on actually getting one. As soon as I got one it was clear this was an item that could only be enhanced by being in group. Boy was I on the money with that light bulb moment. I am flat out no holes barred in love with my lavas.
As the The Lava Masters have told us each lamp has it's own personality and it takes time to learn how each will react given a particular set of heat, light and proximity to other lamps factors. I'm also finding when the midnights are lumped close together sharing their heat they will often begin to flow in unison. ie: once a globe starts up with the penis flow there will be 7 to 10 others that quickly follow suit. While the penis' are racing each other to see who's the biggest and can last the longest there will be a similar number of lamps that will be in big lazy floating up and down orbs. Ha! I will get a good pic of that phenom on large scale someday.
The absolute cooliest thing I discovered by dumb luck; pics of lamps in their penis flow become 3D, looking like the lava is on the outside
of the glass when I simply turn the pic upside down. Hahaha!