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Fun With Bellows: Macro Photography 1 - 13th May 2006

There was an interesting article in April's issue of the Pentax User Club magazine about doing "extreme macro" photography using bellows on a digital SLR, and so about 10 minutes later I was on eBay looking for similar kit suitable for camera "A" - the awesome Pentax *ist D (which recently took its 20,000th photo in 18 months). It didn't take long before one appeared - an original Pentax set - which Nosher subsequently won. Thus began a quest to seek out tiny things around the house and garden that would be interesting to photograph. However, "outside" was soon abandoned as the extreme close-ups and high magnifications (requiring ultra-fine focus adjustments) mean that the subject needs to be completely still - not easy on a windy day.

next album: Hard-Fi Live at Brixton Academy - 15th May 2006
previous album: The Brome Swan Cycling Club do Kelling, Norfolk - 6th May 2006

The set-up: camera on ultra-low tripod, subject (a rock, in this case) on a soldering 'helping hands' jig

Work is delayed by a passing thunderstorm - 40 frames were taken to get one with lightning in (at 8th sec, so the odds aren't good)

The only outdoor photo attempt: tiny pine cones on the end of Nosher's potted Christmas tree

An indicator (turn signal) bulb from a Mark 2 Vauxhall Astra, partially lit with only 3.5v

A sideways close-up view of a vehicle light bulb

The tip of a purple biro (hey, so it's been done before...)

A bunch of 120-ohm resistors

Lots of small PC screws and, er, cat fur

Condensation droplets on the inside of a bottle of mineral water

A top-down view of the dimly-lit filament of a vehicle light bulb

Tiny text (<1mm) on the inside of a writable CD (and some nice diffraction from the data area)

Another writable CD, and more sub-1mm text

Pollen-loaded stamens from a tiny flower from the garden

The stem of a bindweed (sticky plant)

A collection of new, opening, leaves from a bit of sticky Bindweed

Another bindweed close-up

Bubbles in cranberry juice. These were tricky as the water-like viscocity of the juice means bubbles don't last very long

A collection of little bubbles in cranberry juice

A single large bubble distorts the cranberry juice's meniscus around it

The connecting edge of a PCI network card

Small microchip from a PCI network card

Miniature surface-mount resistors

The top view of pins from a dead 1.1GHz Intel 'Celery' processor

Close-up of part of a special edition UK £2 coin, celebrating the discovery of DNA

Another view through the pins of a 1.1GHz Celeron processor

A yellow LED, throttled back with a few resistors to limit the output

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The set-up: camera on ultra-low tripod, subject (a rock, in this case) on a soldering 'helping hands' jig