macro

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with macro



Documentary Food

Déguste: A New Short Film Showing the Beauty and Brutality of Commercial Kitchen Work

November 1, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Alternating between sensual, almost biological macro shots of raw ingredients and the harsh, dully-lit environs of a commercial kitchen, Déguste captures the dual reality of working as a professional chef. The majesty, beauty, and limitless potential of natural ingredients—mushrooms, red meat, fresh greens—are right at hand for the commercial cook. But the unrelenting pace of orders in, orders up, dishing out multiple copies of the same meal at once, and juggling the dangers of sharp and hot tools cuts in again and again. Déguste gives viewers a glimpse at how the sausage gets made, so to speak, in the restaurant world, with an electrifying soundtrack of atmospheric sounds. Created by Paris-based studio Insolence Productions, the short has been lauded at multiple film festivals. See more from Insolence on Vimeo

 

 



Photography Science

Spectacular Mushrooms and Fungi Documented by Photographer Alison Pollack

October 28, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Cookeina sulcipes, Tropical Goblet. Location: Colombia

Photographer Alison Pollack’s subject of choice is usually hiding in plain sight. To find the minuscule but magnificent fungi and Myxomycetes that she shares on @marin_mushrooms, Pollack drops down to hands and knees with a magnifying glass. “The smaller they are, the more challenging they are to photograph, but I absolutely love the challenge,” Pollack tells Colossal. “My goal is to show people the beauty of these tiny treasures that are all around the forest but barely visible unless you look very very closely.”

Pollack, who is a mathematician by training and “computer geek” by trade (she is now retired from an environmental consulting career), relishes the technical and creative challenges of being a self-taught photographer. She seeks to create compelling artistic beauty with her images while also depicting scientific details in sharp focus. Pollack explains that focus stacking allows her to capture the depth and texture of her small subjects, sometimes incorporating upwards of one hundred photos to create a single image.

To increase the breadth and depth of her discoveries, Pollack travels nationally—and sometimes abroad—to find more fungi and Myxomycetes during her native California’s dry season. She also invests in relationships with other mushroomers, attending weekend gatherings to learn from her peers. “I would love to be able to travel more to different parts of the world to look for and photograph mushrooms and myxos,” Pollack tells Colossal. “Australia and New Zealand, and tropical regions, have mushrooms and myxos that really call to me, and I hope to be able to travel to those areas some day. But every walk in my local woods is a mycelial adventure!”

You can explore more of Pollack’s previous fungi finds on Colossal and follow along with her latest discoveries via Instagram. Pollack also offers prints of her photographs; if interested, contact her on Instagram as well.

Didymium squamulosum. Location: Mt Tamalpais, CA. Composite photo to show detail on both the stipe and cap with sporotheca.

Ascocoryne sarcoides and Trichia. Location: Trout Lake, WA

Willkommlangea reticulata. Location: Fairbanks, AK

Phillipsia domingensis. Location: Colombia

Physarum. Location: Fairbanks, AK

Crepidotus crocophyllus. Location: Pt Reyes, CA

Physarum. Location: Mt Tamalpais, CA

Leocarpus fragilis. Location: Fairbanks, AK

Mycena strobilinoidea and Clavulina. Location: Gifford Pinchot State Park, PA

 

 



Photography Science

The Dynamic Details of Unusual Plants Captured in Singular Moments by Photographer Helene Schmitz

October 23, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Drosera stolonifera” part of the Carnivores series

Swedish artist Helene Schmitz focuses on the fascinating structural details of plants in her macro photographs. Throughout her long career, Schmitz has returned again and again to plants. By  centering her subjects—dramatically unfurling blossoms and carnivorous plants—on matte backgrounds that complement the tones of the specimen, viewers are able to study the unique shapes and structures of each plant. Schmitz titles each work with the plant’s Latin name, heightening the aura of scientific precision in her portraits.

“The focus of my work as a visual artist is how human kind has examined, described, and exploited elements of the natural world,” Schmitz tells Colossal. Blow Up was inspired by German photographer Karl Blossfeldt’s plant portraits, and resulted in Schmitz’s first book of plant macro photography. The artist notes that her second series, Linnaeus Project, drew from Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus’s pioneering work in creating order and categorization in the natural world, but also contributed to a pathway of modern exploitation of natural resources (Linnaeus also applied his hierarchical rankings, highly problematically, to humans). Schmitz’s showcase of the peculiar plants live on the edge of flora and fauna, Carnivores, was an assignment for National Geographic Magazine.

Helene Schmitz is represented by WILLAS Contemporary in Oslo, Galerie Maria Lund in Paris, and Turn Gallery in New York. See Schmitz’s work in person at Fotografiska, a photography-focused Swedish museum with locations in Stockholm and Tallinn, Estonia. The museum is opening its New York branch this winter.

“Nepenthes lowii” part of the Carnivores series

“Papaver orientalis” part of the Blow Up series

“Sálvia patens” part of the Linnaeus Project series

“Venus flytrap” part of the Carnivores series

“Cucurbita pepo 2” part of the Blow Up series

“Musa téxtilis” part of the Linnaeus Project series

“Astilboides tabularis” part of the Blow Up series

 

 



Photography Science

Thorny South African Seeds Get an Up Close Examination in Macro Photographs by Dillon Marsh

June 10, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

In order to spread as widely as possible, some varieties of seeds will grow sharp thorns and burs. These sharp points allow the seeds to attach themselves to unsuspecting animals or humans unnoticed, and has earned them the moniker of “hitchhiker plants.” Photographer Dillon Marsh (previously here and here) is accustomed to these seeds hitching a ride on his shoes or clothes during photo excursions through tall grasses of his home in South Africa. Curious about the details hidden beyond their sharp edges, Marsh began to take macro photographs of these natural objects which reveal the often unnoticed resemblance to faces or skulls.

To create such detailed photographs Marsh set up a tiny photo studio. “After carefully lighting the seeds, I then photographed them using a macro lens which allows me to zoom in but leaves me with a very narrow depth of field,” Marsh explains to Colossal. “To overcome this, I take several photos of each seed, incrementally focussing along its entire depth. I then stack the images together in Photoshop in order to create one fully detailed image.”

Marsh is currently adding works to his series Counting the Costs, in which the photographer digitally embeds spheres of melting glaciers amongst city life in India, and soon other parts of the world. You can view more of his projects on Instagram and Behance.

 

 



Amazing Photography Science

Winter’s Magic: Dramatic Ice Crystals Formed in Ephemeral Spheres

December 31, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

A simple mixture of corn syrup, dish detergent, and water creates magical winter snow globes when blown into bubbles on snow. Frosty shapes dance across the fragile transparent bubbles, starting out as distant stars that expand and almost tesselate to form a continuous surface pattern. The straightforward yet delicate DIY project is dramatically documented by Ontario-based nature photographer Don Komarechka in his short film “Winter’s Magic.” Komarechka’s video features the best clips from over 400 takes that were originally shot for the BBC’s Forces of Nature documentary series. The artist works in macro, landscape, and nature photography. He also teaches workshops, and sells prints of his work, from snowflakes to spiders, on his website. For the curious, Komarechka explains the process and the technical aspects of the project on YouTube. (via The Kid Should See This)

 

 



Photography

Macro Photographs of Ultraviolet Lit Flowers Display a Dazzling Array of Neon Colors

December 12, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Slava Semeniuta, the Russian photographer known online as Local Preacher (previously) uses ultraviolet light to capture plants in electrifying shades of pink, yellow, and green. For his recent series, Granular Creatures, Semeniuta used macro photography to capture flecks and particles unseen by the naked eye. These opalescent figures have an otherworldly glow—emanating dazzling light from their shiny petals and luminescent stamens. You can see more of his surprisingly hued photographs and digital manipulations on his Instagram and Behance.

 

 



Art Photography

Macro Photography Reveals the Dazzling Scales and Multi-Colored Hairs That Cover Butterfly Wings

October 11, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Chris Perani uses macro photography to capture the microscopic details found on butterflies’ wings, such as multi-colored hairs and iridescent scales. To photograph with such precision, the photographer uses a 10x microscope objective attached to a 200mm lens, which presents an almost non-existent depth of field. “The lens must be moved no more than 3 microns per photo to achieve focus across the thickness of the subject which can be up to 8 millimeters,” Perani explains to Colossal. “This yields 350 exposures, each with a sliver in focus, that must be composited together.” In total this accounts for 2,100 separate exposures combined into a single image. For more detailed observations of butterfly wings, visit Perani’s website. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 

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