Monday, December 18, 2017

Macro Monday 15, almost all of us have it

I'm just now listening to a famous song by The Cowsills. I know some of my readers are going whaaaaa? Others are already down memory lane. Here's a link so you can catch up with the story. Yes, this clip is from 2007, but the song comes from my youth.

There's a funny story that goes with this and ties into where I'm going. On a Facebook group some of my friends were talking about radio stations, and they were talking about one called Hair Nation. I'd never heard of it, of course, so I asked if they played The Cowsills. Of all the people, only my buddy Susi got it, and her comment was "oh Keith." (Hint, they don't.) Several of the people had to look it up, and I hope they got a good chuckle out of it.

My buddy Julie is always on the move. I met her through triathlon, and we blogged together for a while. I'd see her at races sometimes (zoom!) but we haven't had a nice in person chat for some time, excepting last night. In fact, our last serious chat was in 2010. (Actually that's a nice philosophical post, so if you are a new reader you might want to check it out.)

She has reason to care deeply about her hair, and when I offered to take some macro photos of it she got all excited. (It was that or all the good coffee.) We start with this, a normal, if somewhat unconventional portrait. She has really fine honey blonde hair, with a faint hint of red.

After coffee I got her leaning on my bike rack, which made her feel right at home. That was to make it easier to hold her hands still. After a few experiments figuring out exactly how to hold her hair we start zooming in.

This about 4x with extension tubes.

If I only saw this photo with no context I'd think it was a steel wire. Linda thought it might be the of a plant.

This is about 5x with extension tubes, so about 7x mag, maybe a bit more. On my Lightroom screen at 1:1 the individual hairs are about 10 mm in diameter, but in real life the individual hairs are too fine to measure with the tools at my disposal. Side to side we are looking at about 3mm of hair length.

This is the only shot that is cropped in. Rather than 6000 x 4000 px, this got cropped to 4163 x 2342 px because the rest of the hairs are badly out of focus. All of these are exported at 2048 px wide and 96 px/inch resolution so that social media doesn't mess them up. On my Lightroom screen at 1:1 these hairs are about 18 mm in diameter.

This one is actually Linda. It was a bit of a shared production. Linda had to sit with her head turned, and Julie had to hold the hair while I operated the camera.

This is the first time I've ever taken a macro shot of hair, and it's really the first time I've ever seen a magnified shot of hair. I was surprised at how translucent it is. There is just enough magnification to catch a hint of the texture. If there's a next time for doing this, I'd like to try doing a coil of hair. The trick will be to get it flat. Hmmm.

For those who want to know why Julie cares so much about her hair, (and to normal eyesight it is awesome hair!) drop me a note, and I'll put you in touch. She can explain better than me.


  1. There is the beginning of an interesting idea here. I don't know what that idea is. It is one of your better Macro Mondays. Cheers, Sean

  2. Love these! Very cool images and a neat subject.


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