Karl Leck  


Same Object-4X-1 Drop of Water by Karl Leck

June 2020 - Same Object-4X-1 Drop of Water

About the Image(s)

These two images show the same object. The difference is only the addition of one small drop of water. A Nikon D800 full frame camera was used with a Mitakon Zhongyi ultra macro lens. The lens only focuses between 4 and 4.5 times life size on the sensor. There is virtually no depth of field at f/11 at this magnification. Lighting by large softbox.
Only about half of the subject is shown in these images. What is this very common spring-summer object?


This round’s discussion is now closed!
10 comments posted

Marie Miller   Marie Miller
Hi Karl,
The image on the right seems to have a different background? I love the muted colors in the background. I also love how the dandelion (?) hairs closed together with the addition of the water. It looks like a paint brush. If I had only seen the image screen right, I would have wondered where in nature I could find such a thing. I have yet to do any macro work, but I love seeing it.   Posted: 06/09/2020 23:33:21
Karl Leck   Karl Leck
Wow, Marie, you correctly identified a single dandelion seed. My 'secret' is out! The color in the right image is colorful wrapping paper in the distance which I didn't use in the left image. Karl   Posted: 06/10/2020 17:35:31

Sandra Irwin   Sandra Irwin
Gorgeous! I love the macro. And I had guessed dandelion, but not seed. I can't give any "improvement" comments, as I would not have been able to do this in the first place! (I'm here to learn.)   Posted: 06/11/2020 14:15:22
Karl Leck   Karl Leck
Hi Sandra, The Mitakon Zhongyi macro is a relatively inexpensive, small lens. The seed was held by a clothespin. and moved forward and back to achieve focus. While I had a softbox set up, you could simply use an adjustable light or flashlight (torch) as a close, strong light source. It's fun to do in these days when we are spending a lot of time at home. Another option would be to place the seeds in various positions on a flatbed scanner. Leave the lid open in a semi-dark room to produce a black background in the image. Scan at 1200 ppi or higher and be amazed at the resolution in the image. This works for a lot of fairly flat specimens from the garden. Karl   Posted: 06/12/2020 08:41:02
May Meng   May Meng
The scan sounds brilliant!   Posted: 06/12/2020 23:05:08

Judith Lesnaw   Judith Lesnaw
You have captured Nature's wonderful abstracts in a very creative way. Both compositions are very pleasing and whimsical. How did you apply the drop of water; did you dip the seed hairs, or drop the drop on the seed while it was on a surface and then draw it out? The teardrop shape is remarkable. I am inspired to experiment. Thank you!!!   Posted: 06/12/2020 22:39:26

May Meng   May Meng
It's very interesting to see both of them and will be cool to see if let the let travel through the water and the seed, what magic will happen:)?   Posted: 06/12/2020 23:06:52

Valerie Pohio   Valerie Pohio
Hi Karl....you have surpassed yourself yet again. Love both images. Incredibly shallow depth of field....very little in the second image is sharp to my eye, but that's the nature of the beast and what I find incredibly frustrating when trying macro. It is fiddley, but the results can be a knock-out as you have shown. I echo Judith's query.
Must try the scanner trick....sounds like fun too.
Not sure which I prefer....perhaps the one on the left. It's very striking for such a delicate piece of nature! Lovely work.   Posted: 06/12/2020 23:40:08

Lauren Heerschap   Lauren Heerschap
Very fun. I'm inspired to get out my lightbox! How do you stablize your camera above the box to focus directly down?   Posted: 06/21/2020 13:43:37
Karl Leck   Karl Leck
The seed was held by a clothespin so you only see the part with the 'umbrella'. The 24" LED softbox was suspended from the ceiling (easy to do in the basement) pointing downward about 5" above the seed. This is the same lighting I use for soap bubbles.   Posted: 06/21/2020 20:00:09