Monday, January 29, 2018

Macro Monday 19: Orange reentry

When it's a cold and snowy Saturday outside, its lovely to be inside, shooting something that reminds you of molten glass, which this was, once.

This is one of the first paperweights I ever made, and it's still one of my favourites. I was trying to get a thin rod of yellow glass swirled around a bar of amber colour glass, all formed into a neat knot, with another layer of glass over it. While I was working on it, it was all kind of getting away from me, so I had to smush it down onto the punty, then work on spherical again. Spherical is hard, btw. Now it looks like a blob of marmalade. Love it!

This is an air bubble in glass, at about 4.9 x mag plus 68 mm of extension tubes. I'm not even sure which bubble it is, so I don't know how big it actually is. It's really hard to tell real size inside a glass ball anyways. Most of the rest of the shots are at about 3x mag, plus extension tubes. I cannot tell you how happy these shades of orange and yellow make me.

I call this one orange reentry, sort of like how I called the first one here red reentry.

In some of these the yellow bar looks a bit green, but that just gives it a bit more contrast. I think it's because white light is going through orange glass, and that affects the yellow colour. I don't have any idea how I got it to be kind of lacy. That's the beauty of working with glass, even your screwups can be beautiful.

More air bubbles, about 3x mag.

If you were to pick up this paperweight and hold it, you'd be able to see the various layered swirls of colour and the bubbles in it. What makes the macro photos tricky is that the camera only "sees" a thin plane of it in focus. A small change in focus, or even moving the camera back and forth on the rails can dramatically change the photo. I spent several happy hours rolling the paperweight around looking for interesting shots. Lots and lots of rejects.

Here's some shots of the setup. People have asked about that. I am totally low tech. The camera is mounted on a 4 way macro rail (which is totally essential, I don't know how you could do macro shots without it), which is fastened to the top of a tripod, but there is no ball head so there are no angle shots unless I want to play with the tripod arm. The subject is supported by a keyboard beanbag wrist support in some shots but not all, which is resting on a floor cement trowel, which is clamped into a bike stand. Yes, the lens is often that close to the subject. It's lit by an LED lamp opposite the camera, in otherwise normal basement lighting. I'm using a Canon T6i with the MP-E 65 mm macro lens with the MT24-EX twin flash as a dedicated macro camera.

This is what it looked like outside when I started. Now it's snowing hard, but it's warmed up to -13 C. It was lovely to shoot the paperweight, remembering the hot dry atmosphere of the studio, baking in the kiln heat, trying not to burn myself playing with the molten glass, my hands shielded only by wet newspaper.

1 comment:

  1. I like the definition (threads of peel) in the first photo. I wonder if it would be stronger photographed a little tighter so that edges of the paper weight are not visible.


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