Macro photography is such a fascinating subject. Getting that close to something isn’t something we normally see. We get to observe minute details that we’d never otherwise notice. A lot of things macro subjects are obvious, like bug parts, for example. But not everything is quite so easy to identify.
You might remember British contact lens retailer Lenstore from when they teamed up with Nikon to create 24 Hour London. Well, now they’ve come back with the “Close Up” macro challenge. Can you identify these objects from these extreme close-ups?
The items that Lenstore used for this test are all every day objects that many of us may come into contact with on a daily basis. This just makes my 5/10 even more embarrassing. But it’s interesting to see just how often we think we know what something is when viewed this close to find out it’s something completely different.
Lenstore told DIYP that the images were created with a Nikon D5 and a Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro lens. The effective aperture on each of the shots was around f/48. This means a lot of lighting power is needed, so they used a pair of Profoto B2 heads with various modifiers.
With a 150mm Macro you can get pretty close to the object but still have a long enough focal length that you can arrange the lights around the object without the camera and lens getting in the way. For the really close up work I simply moved the lens and camera really close to the object.
Such small apertures requires very powerful flashes to illuminate the object. A lot of time was spent mounting the objects carefully, figuring out the lighting angles and locking the camera off on a tripod. About 95 percent of time spent was preparation for each shot, just arranging the object and setting the lights takes a lot of time.
They told us that of the particular challenges was the match being struck. Once those things go, you don’t exactly get a lot of time to react and hit the shutter.
I think its really interesting to see the detail and beauty in everyday objects. It’s a philosophical point to appreciate everyday objects as beautiful things. I think my favourite was the striking match. To capture it successfully at the moment the phosphor ignited took a long time. I finished the shoot in the small hours of the morning after using up 3 boxes of matches to perfect the timing.
I have to be honest, when I first did this test, I got 5/10. Matthew tried it and he got 7/10, so he did a bit better than me. But how did you do? Did you get all ten? Or did you fail as much as I did?
If the embedded test above isn’t loading for you, you can check it out on the Lenstore website.