Really more useful for landscape and macro photographers who are going to be shooting through very small apertures (f/22 and above), this video from FStoppers explains what diffraction is and how it can affect your shots. The trade off, as they explain in the video, is between a large depth of field and a sharp image; and the trick is to find your “sweet-spot.”
The difference isn’t as obvious on the video even at 1080p, so if you want to see full resolution examples be sure to head over to the original post.
A team of researchers at the Japan Science and Technology Agency have recently taken 3D imaging to another level. A much smaller level. What they’ve managed to do is develop an electron microscope that can show 3-dimensional photos of their tiny subjects in real-time. In the past, getting a 3D photo from an electron microscope meant superimposing two images taken at slightly different angles. But this new microscope allows the scientist to slant the electron beam and obtain both angles at the same time.
The resulting images are slightly lower in resolution, but the advantage of seeing their structure in 3 dimensions makes it a worthwhile tradeoff. And all this without the need for 3D glasses.
After taking a macro photograph of his own eye using a Samsung WB500 compact camera, Jarroseph was startled to find that the photograph showed his own face reflected in his eyeball. His face had reflected off the front of the lens, off his eyeball, and then into the camera!
For her project “The Big Bang“, photographer Deborah Bay captured macro photographs of plexiglass sheets that had various types of firearms fired at them. After having professional law enforcement officers fire bullets into the glass, she brought the sheets into a studio and “shot” them again with a Contax 645 and a 120 macro lens. She writes,
I began thinking about “The Big Bang” after seeing a sales display of bullet-proof plexiglas that had projectiles embedded in it. The plexiglas captured the fragmentation of the bullets and provided a visual record of the energy released on impact. As I began to explore this concept further, I also was intrigued by the psychological tension created between the jewel-like beauty and the inherent destructiveness of the fragmented projectiles. Many of the images resemble exploding galaxies, and visions of intergalactic bling sublimate the horror of bullets meeting muscle and bone. In fact, Susan Sontag described the camera as “a sublimation of the gun” — load, aim and shoot.
London-based photographer David Wilman recently did some experiments in which he used a Canon 5D Mark II as a digital back for his MPP 4×5 large format camera. He placed his lens-less 5D at the back of the camera at the film plane and then placed a black cloth over the two cameras to prevent any light from spilling onto the sensor. Light from the Schneider Kreuznach Xenar 4.5/150mm lens entered straight into the open mirror box of the DSLR without any physical link between the two cameras. Wilman was surprised to discovered that this pairing produced quite a respectable macro setup. Read more…
Here’s a super cool trick: instead of buying a special macro lens for your smart phone, simply use a drop of water! Carefully place a drop of water over your lens, carefully invert the phone, and voila — instant macro shots with the cheapest lens you’ll ever own. Alex Wild over at Scientific American has more details on the technique and some great sample shots taken with it.
Photographer Bjoern Ewers directed this creative advertising campaign for the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra that shows beautiful views of the insides of various instruments. Shot using a macro lens, each one looks more like a giant music hall than a musical instrument. Read more…
Photography enthusiast Kris Robinson used to handhold a flash above his subjects for macro photographs, but then he got tired of doing that and ran out of hands. He then came up with the brilliant idea of making a do-it-yourself contraption that attaches to his flash when it’s mounted to the hotshoe. The light travels down a tube lined with reflective aluminum tape, and is bounced downward onto the subject through a diffused lightbox. For a couple sample shots, see here and here.
P.S. Robinson also offers a tip for shooting macro photos of insects: if you place them into your freezer for a minute or two, they’ll sit nice and still for a while before warming up and scurrying away.
Image credit: IMG_0495 by Kris Robinson and used with permission