Some years ago my life was changed by the purchase of a new camera and lens. With it I was able to photograph even the smallest flowers, and this led me to write a book, “Small Wonders” many of the pictures being only possible because of the new camera.
And then came another change. Our son, with his wife and daughter, was here on a visit, bringing an unexpected gift – a new kind of camera, unlike anything I have ever seen before. It plugs into the computer and only takes pictures of things that are really small. Amcap – Digital Microscope 20x-800x Magnification 8-LED Mini Microscope Endoscope Camera Magnifier.
Right away I was struck with the difference between human made objects and living things.
I photographed one of my recent watercolors. The new camera produced a beautiful highly textured picture, showing the paper and the way the pigment settled into its peaks and valleys. Then I photographed the painting and printed a copy. The extra close-up camera showed that this print consisted of a series of smudges and dots.
A portion of the painting
Close up of the painting
Close up of a print of the painting
I suspected that living plants would be very different. To test my theory I photographed a spurge in our front yard (some kind of Euphorbia). With the naked eye and with my ordinary camera, I could not tell whether it was in bloom or not. Then I took a picture with my usual close-up camera and found that indeed it was. Finally I used my new Amcap camera, and found all kinds of detail I had been missing. With the new, even more powerful equipment I could go into more and more detail, and no matter how far I went, I would still be seeing new things until finally arriving at the molecular level. There is a kind of infinity in living plants that is quite astonishing and endlessly fascinating. And, by the way, it is in bloom.
Euphorbia seen from above
Euphorbia with my close-up camera – below, with the new camera