‘Structure’: 4K Shots of Organic Things Magnified up to 1000x

Structure is a new short film by photographer Drew Geraci, who used a microscope and 4K camera to capture the beauty of ordinary organic objects when magnified up to 1000x.

Here’s a list of the things that appear in the film: Kiwi, Strawberry, blueberry, Lemon, Lime, Green/Orange Bell Pepper, Bell Pepper Seeds, Soap Bubbles, Star Fruit, Dragon Fruit, Beet, Beet Leaf, Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Prickly pear, Horned Melon, Carbonated Water, Mushrooms and Pachira Aquatica, Broccoli, Carrots.

“It all started with a single shot – a small frozen snowflake I captured using a 100mm macro lens,” Geraci writes. “I’ve shot plenty of macro photography in the past, but for some reason, this image ignited my imagination and passion to shoot.

“So I did what any sane person would do — bought a microscope with camera capabilities and I started to shoot everyday objects at 1000x+ magnifications.”

Geraci visited the grocery store and purchased as many unique-looking organic foods he could find, and then spent 30 days shooting the 20+ subjects at different magnifications.

Everything was shot with a Sony a9 mirrorless camera looking through a microscope, and the motion was done by connecting the lower microscope tray to a stepper motor, which created microscopic slider moves.

Here’s what Geraci has to say about the challenges he faced in shooting this project:

Since I was capturing motion now everything needed to be 100% completely still. This was the hard part at 1000x magnification. I must have filmed the same sequence 10 or 20 times before I got a completely still and usable shot. The slightest vibration could easily ruin the scene.

The next challenge was lightning. Capturing video via a microscope requires a ton of light and the microscope’s light is only so powerful. Each bulb only lasted for up to 3 hours at max power before they would die. I must have gone through 8 or 9 bulbs during the course of filming (and they’re not cheap bulbs!). Because of this, I needed to rig up external lightning that could help illuminate the scene. I ended up using a small Manfrotto Lykos light which did the trick.

You can find more of Geraci’s work on his website, Twitter, and Facebook.