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
Here’s a short video in which photo instructor Bryan Peterson shows how you can use sunlight and a simple reflector for creative macro shots — perfect for people who have a macro lens but lack lighting equipment.
The photographs in Nadav Bagim‘s project “WonderLand” might look like paintings or computer generated images, but they’re actually real photographs captured at home using ordinary objects and creative artificial lighting. His tools and props include things like vegetables, plastic bags, flowers, and leaves, and he captures the images using a Canon 60D and 100mm f/2.8 macro lens. Getting his “subjects” into the positions and poses he wants requires countless hours of patient encouraging. Read more…
Add-on lenses for cell phones are pretty common nowadays, but usually they’re specifically made for certain models and are incompatible with others. The Macro Cell Lens Band is different — it’s a stretchable band with a macro lens baked right in. Simply slip the band onto your phone, place the lens over your phone’s camera, and voila! Instant macro shots. When you’re not using it, you can also wear it around like a gel bracelet. They cost $15 each over at Photojojo.