During the summer and towards the end of it, I had fun with the macro photography, as a matter of passing the time and occupy my mind. At least, it gave me the opportunity to take pictures and maintain some skills.
I had a flash
While I was practicing this kind of photography, I had a flash… No, I didn’t buy anything from eBay or Amazon, I mean I had an idea! Why not photograph marbles as if they represented planets. Shear luck (or bad luck!), just before I started, an article appeared on the Petapixel website showing the same kind of photo… grrrrr!
I needed marbles… obviously, that’s not the kind of things I have at home anymore. I made a trip to the dollar store where I found what I was looking for. Back home, I had to find a way to hold the marbles so that I could photograph them. I made metal rods made from coat hangers. Then, I placed the beads on these stems using a adhesive putty. The whole thing was placed on a felted black background in precarious balance!
I then put my camera equipment while the marbles stopped swinging at the end of the rods… I only used one flash to simulate that the light came from the sun; in addition, I had installed a “bee hive” grid to restrict the beam. I did some light tests to be ready to make the final photo.
Since I photographed closely, there was the problem of the depth of field: I had arranged the marbles on different planes to simulate the scattering of the planets. But even with great depth of field, I found myself with somes balls out of focus. I told myself that I could focus on each of the marbles (photographed as a whole) and then I would choose those in focus in Photoshop (yes it was going to be a photo that would end in this software!). My idea did not work. So I re-shot the photos but this time, I took the marbles one by one.
The final cut
As I said, I knew that the final photo would be executed in Photoshop. I first searched the Internet to find an image of stars. I ended up finding it on Adobe’s website. It contained an unrestricted user license; moreover, it cost nothing! Once the images in Photoshop, I assembled the final photo in a meticulous work to remove the rods. I balanced the lighting to get at the final image that I called the Marble Galaxy!