Agate Detail

This is a 3X life size closeup of an agate mineral slab. This was taken with a Canon MPE 65mm Macro lens, which goes from 1x to 5X life size magnification. I used the Canon Twin Light Macro flash to provide lighting. I also shot this Agate wet to saturate colors, and used cross polarization techniques to eliminate glare on the wet agate. For reference, in real life the agate slab is approximately 2 inches by 3 inches, and this image encompasses only a part of the slab.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

any critique and comments are welcome

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

Canon 5D MKII, Canon MPE 65mm Macro lens, ISO 100, 1/3 sec at f8

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

Oh wow, Ed, this is very beautiful abstract image. The colors and details are wonderful, the lines and shapes, all of it, and tact sharp. Okay, I think you have encouraged me to dust off my MPE 65mm Macro lens, get that focusing rail out on a tripod, and use the twin flash, and just see what I can find to shoot. Never thought about getting Agate slabs to shoot with it! You did a fabulous job with this. :+1::+1:

Ed, a most enjoyable abstract. Great lines, patterns and colors.

This image takes me back about 50 years, when I studied ribosomes and endoplasmic reticulum. Another words it looks like an electro micrograph of human tissue.

@Igor_Doncov @Harley_Goldman @Shirley_Freeman thank you for your comments, I’m glad you enjoyed this abstract. I thought it would be fun to post something in Macro that was not an insect.

Shirley, it might be time to dust off that MPE 65, it can be tough to work with, but provides some unique images.

Igor, my next agate post will be titled "Endoplasmic Reticulum’’ it will be interesting to see if anybody knows the difference :grinning:


Agates (and other semiprecious) slabs can be beautiful and this shot shows off that beauty off very well, Ed. You filled the frame well with this fine, colorful pattern. Backlighting can also work well if the slab is relatively thin.

Nice abstract with a unique composition. Cross polarization provided some wonderful light. Well done…Jim

Hi Ed, fascinating image with all those abstract shapes and colors. Terrific lighting. well done!

You are on a role with your small scenes, Ed. I love this!! The patterns and colors are so intriguing and the composition works really well (I wish there was a tiny bit of room below the dark orange formation on the lower left but that is very minor). When I first saw this, I thought it might be an aerial (it looks similar to a drone photo from my husband’a portfolio: It is fascinating how nature produces patterns that repeat at such different scales - tiny here to a massive landscape in the example I shared above.

Thank you for yuor comments Sarah. If you had shown me your husbands photo with no description, I would have swore that it was a closeup of an agate, the similarity is remarkable. I love looking for repeating fractal patterns in nature. I guess fractal patterns not only repeat themselves within a single subject, they repeat from one subject to another as well.

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I love your husband’s work. It looks like you have to fly a drone really high to get some of his abstracts, much higher than I thought they flew.