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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bluebells (Hyacinthoides)

A rainy day kept me inside today so I spent some time playing with a bellows attachment to my camera, a gift from Causeway Artist, Dean Lewis. This bellows attachment enables me to turn some of my old legacy lenses into super macro-lenses capable of the kind of resolution you can see in the above photo. Blogger shrinks everything to 1600 pixels wide but this image is just as sharp at twice the resolution. The flower is a Bluebell, one of three very similar species in this genus (Hyacinthoides). Although they are all over the place in the parks I visit and along the roadsides, they appear to be an introduced or invasive species since they are not listed in my field guides of indigenous flowering plants. However, for me they are another sign that spring is here despite the dark, wet days we're having.
To the right is the setup I used to capture the above closeup. The bellows allows very precise focusing since it can be moved along a track using the screw adjustment at the bottom. Also, since the lens is further from the sensor the magnification is increased. I don't really understand optics or lenses but I am very pleased with how this setup works. Many thanks, Dean. (Now all I need are some cooperative insects so we can begin to explore the world of six legged Victorians.)


Jonathan said...

Don't need cooperative insects to get good shots:

Paty said...

that´s gorgeous, i can almost feel its smell!

Dean Lewis said...

Beautiful shot, Benjamin.
A rich palette of colour.
The smallest of details is what makes it complete for me, like the tiny highlights'glistening' on the texture of the petals.

Obviously there is a very narrow depth of field making focus critical and very selective, as well as making for a guaranteed interesting 'bokeh'.

Glad to see you putting the bellows to use, and look forward to more, especially capturing any miniature wildlife.
I'll start looking for an electron microscope attachment for you next. :)

JoJo said...

I love the pristine detail in this photo!

I built a paper camera from a kit and it has bellows too. I've never used it, but it can be used to take pics. The entire camera, including all the gears, is made from paper, except for the fabric bellows and the small wood dowls used to turn the gears.

Michael Laplante said...

Saw those amazing insect photos making the rounds yesterday.

I've always thought of insects as just small machines really. These images made me think of machines shut down for the night, waiting for sunlight to jump start them into activity again...

Dean Lewis said...

I'd like to see what is the smallest, closest object possible you could shoot, perhaps the surface of something like a fingertip or the printed image on a currency-bill as you did before.

Benjamin Madison said...

Great insect shots, Jonathan - thanks for the link.
Thanks Paty, Dean for your kind remarks.

JoJo - a paper camera? Amazing!

Michael - me too, small organic machines totally on autopilot.

Dean, I think the limits are defined by the lens rather than by the bellows. In any case, further experiments are on the way.

Benjamin Madison said...

Jonathan - I don't think insects are the only creepy things you'd find in the bush around here at 3 o'clock in the morning....