Everyday objects are barely recognisable shot through a macro lens

Nov 4, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Everyday objects are barely recognisable shot through a macro lens

Nov 4, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Macro lenses can be a fascinating thing. They can show us a side of our world that we didn’t even know existed. Letting us get up close and personal to things we’d never really paid much attention to before. Suddenly, everyday objects we take for granted offer an alien beauty.

This video from the Macro Room illustrates that wonderfully. In it, they take a look at series of items many of us interact with, or at least see, on a daily basis. Through the eye of a macro lens, though, they can become barely recognisable. A couple are immediately obvious, but some don’t make themselves easily known  until you see the camera pull back.

YouTube video

What I find interesting is how the light plays of some of these small areas. With a lens that contains such a tiny part of the subject, the light sources are huge by comparison. It gives them a unique quality that we’re not often used to seeing with normal sized subjects. Such a close look with large light sources also makes otherwise invisible defects in surfaces readily apparent.

coke_zoom

Macro Room say that they used several lenses and som “complex editing” techniques in order to be able to zoom out with a continuous shot. Going from macro to long distance certainly isn’t easy to focus when simultaneously tracking back. They don’t say exactly what these techniques are, but I would imagine it’s something similar to those used with hyperlapse.

Here’s a list of the different objects they show in the video.

  • Green apple
  • Coke bottle cap
  • Toothbrush
  • Chewing gum
  • Pencil
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Cigarette lighter
  • Weird tinsel cushion thing
  • Adjustable Wrench
  • Tea bag
  • GoPro Hero 4
  • Incandescent lightbulb
  • Tomato
  • Key
  • Oreo
  • Pen
  • Cracked smartphone

The tomato and the Oreo were probably the two most difficult for me to figure out. I had no clue what they were when I first watched the video. Also, without any sense of scale, I originally thought the coke bottle lid was a red pepper until I saw the paint chips. I still couldn’t tell what it was, but I knew it wasn’t a red pepper any more.

How many did you guess right before they zoomed out? What are your favourite macro subjects to photograph? Do you stick to the usual bugs and flowers, or do you look for something a little different? Let us know and show off some of your macro shots in the comments.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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2 responses to “Everyday objects are barely recognisable shot through a macro lens”

  1. Aankhen Avatar
    Aankhen

    That’s some solid work and it makes for fascinating images. I was only able to guess the tomato and the pencil, heh.

  2. Brian Menin Avatar
    Brian Menin

    I don’t usually bump old threads, but will in this case. Wildlife photography is one of my hobbies, because it gets me outdoors, and there is frequently an element of danger. Macro allows me to have a similar experience in my backyard. Getting stung by a bee isn’t like getting charged by a moose or bison, but you still must be wary, when behind the camera. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a9f09120c9af36aef4ca5cb5505ff9507fb14cb8652ccb939d313b29aecc99dc.jpg