#1298. Beyond Macro, Micro!

By Pascal Ravach | How-To

Jul 17

I studied Sciences in my youth, and kept my curiosity intact since then, so once launched in the so-called “adult life” I became found of Olympus for their extraordinary gear for macro-photography, purchased all their best optics, flashes, bellows… you name it; and even ended up purchasing a microscope, a binocular and an optic fibre lighting unit…

(c) Pascal Ravach
 

I share a “family picture” of a fraction of that gear, not out of some nostalgia (quoique…), but because I waited decades for Olympus to release a simple digital FF camera (with the same “multi-spot zone system” would have been even better), compatible with all this stuff, flashes included… after all, Nikon, the “other” brand for macro, did it.

Well, bad luck, it never happened, Olympus went four third, and still today I feel abandoned ๐Ÿ™

 

I tried to make things “compatible”, but it is still a chore, and re-buying it all is not only out of my present financial reach, but most items simply don’t exist anymore…

(c) Pascal Ravach
 

With the Sony A7R2 and adapters, I can use all the optics, auto-bellow, etc, and the sensor/optics seem a capable match, but not the flash system… and in macro a TTL ring flash with a cross-polarized filter is a dream, just as an example.

We all know that, with technology, we must sometimes “scratch it and move on”, but I never contemplated “writing off” a small fortune invested in gear and buying inferior things… oh well ๐Ÿ™‚

(c) Pascal Ravach
 

In 1991 in Switzerland, my four years old first son started to show a real interest for “all these things”, and one day I decided to show him micro-cristallography; I used an “amateur” approach, simply with a few pills grabbed on the house pharmacy, crushed in distilled water or isopropyl alcool, a quart-wave glass and patience; some produced nothing, some were a big surprise ๐Ÿ™‚

Watching him spending literally hours with his eyes glued to the microscope was a beautiful experience.

(c) Pascal Ravach
 

I took pictures with my Olympus OM-4 Ti and my trusty Fujichrome 50 Velvia.

Some viewers said one of the photos looked like a telescope capture, another one like a view of a glacier in Island from a plane ๐Ÿ™‚

In 1999, having moved to Canada, I found the box with the slides and decided to scan them with my Nikon Coolscan V.

(c) Pascal Ravach
 

I share here a small selection, sometimes with the same photo being taken with the quart-wave polarizing class slightly turned, to show the false colours produced by the polarization.

(c) Pascal Ravach
 
(c) Pascal Ravach
 
(c) Pascal Ravach
 
(c) Pascal Ravach
(c) Pascal Ravach
(c) Pascal Ravach
 

A great pleasure for me is to see these colours still so vibrant, for something taken 32 years ago… and a kind signal to life to resume film macro… maybe ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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  • Nancee Rostad says:

    Your abstract images are a blue-loverโ€™s dream, Pascal! And the story about your young son being fascinated by the view through the microscope is beautiful indeed. It proves the point that children often point us in the right direction in life. Hopefully youโ€™ll show us more macro in the future. Thanks for sharing.

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    OMG – I’ve been heavily into macro for years, but this has completely blown me away, Pascal. I bet your kids think you’re a wonderful father!

    I had a photography-mad great-uncle on both sides of my family – my father’s, and mum’s mother’s. And my father was also keen on it – but he never shared his enthusiasm for photography with my brother or me, even though we were both keen on it.

    So I’m mightily impressed by you sharing your passion with your son.

    While I know there are others out there, doing micro, I have to say I think these images of yours are extraordinary. I love them! I hope you find some more, find time to pay around with them in other post processing software and – who knows? – get stuck back into creating new images, with some of the gear that’s around these days.

    I’d love to see some more of your work!

  • Pascal Ravach says:

    Thanks so much for your kind words, Nancee and Pete ๐Ÿ™‚
    In fact 6 images are missing, Pascal realized it but I guess his blog cache will be updated soon…

    • Nancee Rostad says:

      Hopefully weโ€™ll get to see those missing micro images!

      • Pascal Ravach says:

        Well, Pascal J is in travel, with few access to his site, so I guess we’ll have to wait.
        But basically after his first correction there are now only 2 missing images, the ones showing the effect of rotating the quart-wave glass; not such a big deal; other colors will be for… the future, if I can spare free time and if I am lucky enough to come across complacent crystals ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Mer says:

    Thanks for posting these. Such interesting forms and great use of colour – don’t often see that sort of intensity, but it works so well here.

    I imagine this must have been extremely rewarding, both the process and the images. A type of photography that very few get to experience.

    • Pascal Ravach says:

      Thanks, Mer, it was indeed rewarding, and it had that “let’s experiment” smell I like so much science for ๐Ÿ™‚
      In fact, Pascal and I are still sorting out what happened with some images… seems to have been a bug between our emails.
      So more updates will come in the next days, I hope people will refresh their browsers caches…

  • Pascal Ravach says:

    Pascal successfully uploaded the last 2 images, the ones showing the effect of rotating the quart-wave for those interested in polarized micro-photograpy; we devise a safer method for large files sharing, it will make it easier for future posts ๐Ÿ™‚

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