New Rock Abstracts Gallery now open!
As the weather has cooled and the leaves fallen away, I've returned to my basement laboratory, or "Mad Lab" as I like to call it. There I shoot "supermacro" photographs of stunning patterns in a variety of rocks, both translucent and opaque. I use a special setup, similar to the technique I use for the closeups of the fall leaves. The major difference is lighting the translucent rocks from beneath them with a light table. This really brings out the fine details and helps reduce exposure times. Side lighting restores the surface colors that can change if only the illumination from the light table is used. The whole rig is pretty compact, just about 3 feet square and about 2 1/2 feet high, and it sits on a small table that has storage for my lenses and such. I've included a picture of the setup below. (BTW - some of the rocks on the left front corner and right rear corner appear prominently in the new gallery!)
One thing I do to prepare the rocks is to wipe them with a thin coating of super high quality lamp oil. This helps to bring out the colors, especially in rocks that are cut but unpolished. Unpolished slabs are quite drab in appearance, which is why lapidary artists polish them before using them in jewelry. Wiping them with lamp oil accomplishes the same thing. I even use this technique on some of my already-polished rocks, because many over time have gotten scuffed and these imperfections are greatly enhanced at high magnifications.
So now you know all my secrets! I hope you enjoy taking a closeup look at these little marvels.
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