See the world of ordinary organic objects magnified up to 1000x, to reveal beautiful and unique landscape structures, never before seen like this. Using a custom motion control device, microscope and 4k video, we bring a microscopic world to life.
Organic objects filmed: Kiwi, Strawberry, blueberry, Lemon, Lime, Green/Orange Bell Pepper, Bell Pepper Seeds, Soap Bubbles, Star Fruit, Dragon Fruit, Beet, Beet Leaf, Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Prickly pear, Horned Melon, Carbonated Water, Mushrooms and Pachira Aquatica, Broccoli, Carrots. (Can you guess which is which?).
Inspiration behind the project:
It all started with a single shot – a small frozen snowflake I captured using a 100mm macro lens. I’ve shot plenty of macro photography in the past, but for some reason this image ignited my imagination and passion to shoot. So I did what any sane person would do — bought a microscope with camera capabilities and I started to shoot every day objects at 1000x+ magnifications.
It was like a whole new world for me. I ran out to the grocery store and picked up as many different and unique looking organic foods I could find so I could capture them up-close and personal. Over the next 30 days I shot over 20 different subjects at varying magnifications and complied the results into a 2 minute video. Since I didn’t want to just take still photos, I decided to shoot everything in 4k, using the Sony A9. Since I was shooting video I needed to add motion otherwise there would be no reason to shoot it. With that, I devised a way to hook up the x-axis of the lower microscope tray to a stepper-motor (controlled by a Kessler Second Shooter unit) that would allow me to create microscopic slider moves. This really allowed me to become more creative in the way I composed my shots.
This project, like anything else, had its share of challenges. Since I was capturing motion now everything needed to be 100% completely still. This was the hard part at 1000x magnification. I must have filmed the same sequence 10 or 20 times before I got a completely still and usable shot. The slightest vibration could easily ruin the scene. The next challenge was lightning. Capturing video via a microscope requires a ton of light and the microscopes light is only so powerful. Each bulb only lasted for up to 3 hours at max power before they would die. I must have gone through 8 or 9 bulbs during the course of filming (and they’re not cheap bulbs!). Because of this I needed to rig up external lightning that could help illuminate the scene. I ended up using a small Manfrotto Lykos light which did the trick.
Overall I was very excited to be able to work on this personal project and showcase the unseen world that’s around us. I hope my experience will inspire others to do something new and interesting as well.
Andrew 'Drew' Geraci
Musical Score by:
Greg Secession's of Secessions Studio
AmScope Microscope w/ Camera Attachment
Kessler Second Shooter control unit with Stepper Motor
Manfrotto Lykos Lights
Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2018
Adobe After Effects CC 2018