Photo Notes A place to talk about making images.

January 12, 2016

Micro Photography Workshop

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Siskin @ 5:40 pm
Ablative Absolute, yes that's the title

Ablative Absolute,
yes that’s the title

I do a lot of microphotography, images of things less than a quarter inch in size, some times small than a human hair. Much of the time I’m exploring the relationships between color and texture and line. I’m trying to explore the unseen, looking for the unexpected. That’s certainly the case in this shot. However one of the first things I get asked when someone sees these images is “What is it?” The idea is of course that a photograph must be a picture of something. I guess I could say that it’s a picture of light, but that usually doesn’t satisfy. So this is a picture of a plastic ice cube. I used to say a fake plastic ice cube, but of course it’s a perfectly real plastic ice cube, intended to be used as a prop. I’ve often made images of plastic ice cubes because, under the right circumstances, they’ll refract light in very interesting ways.

You can get a print of this image by using this PayPal link. Like all of the images I’ve been adding for the fine art pages it’s going to be $125 for a print that’s about 12 inches wide, mounted and matted onto 16X20 board. That includes shipping inside the U.S. I hope you’ll consider purchasing this shot.



I think that very small subjects give photographers a unique place to look for images. Often people want to travel to take pictures, as if they can’t find anything interesting unless they go to Africa or Alaska. I’ll admit that travel can open your eyes, give you new ways of seeing, but when you come back everything looks mundane. I want to find inspiration in the everyday, even in a piece of plastic. I want to want to make new images everyday. I can take a voyage to the land of the tiny any time.

Many photographers think of macro lenses when they think of shooting small things. While macro lenses are good tools, they really don’t go small enough. You’re still just looking at a flower or a butterfly with a macro lens. You can go much closer and find that a butterfly’s wings are coated with ribbon like scales, or that a small piece of broken glass could be so interesting.



It costs a lot of money to go on safari. It’s inexpensive to travel into the small worlds. It’s less expensive than buying a new macro lens or a dedicated flash. It can provide endless opportunities for a photographer. Of course it’s good to have a guide, so I’m offering a new Micro Photography Workshop:

Beyond 1 to 1
Going Into Uncharted Territory

This workshop will give you the ability to photograph things smaller than a human hair. You’ll be able to photograph the scales on a butterfly’s wing or the tip of a pen.

The workshop will explain how to use simple tools to shoot amazing pictures. And you’ll have a list of the tools to take you back into the very small whenever you want. The tools are much more inexpensive than you might think: a reverse adapter, which will make a 50mm lens into a powerful micro lens, is only $12! You can get a microscope that will enable you to make an image that is 40 times life size on your sensor (that would translate into an 8X10 print that’s 320 times life size) for just over $100. It’s amazing how a few pieces of inexpensive equipment will unlock an unseen world.

This workshop is a guided tour into this world, but unlike a safari to Africa or voyage to Alaska, you can return to this world whenever you want. You’ll get a chance to experiment with tools you can throw into your camera bag and the tools you’d use at home. This isn’t the kind of gear that you need a lab to use, you can explore at a kitchen table! We’ll work with bellows and extension tubes. You’ll see how to shoot through microscope lenses and enlarging lenses, in fact you can make fabulous micro image with a simple 50mm lens. You’ll also get to shoot with the microscope, and learn how to shoot with your own scope!


The workshop is limited to just 6 people. Each person will be able to use the equipment and make shots during the workshop. If you bring a flash card you’ll be able to keep your shots! You’ll also get an extensive list of tools you might want to get, including a list of gear you can get used. The idea is to unlock the door-to give you a ticket into the unseen worlds!

The workshop will happen on February 28. It’s a one day workshop and the cost is only $175, but if you sign up in January the cost will be just $135! You can use the PayPal link below to sign up for the Workshop!

You can buy one of my books by clicking on the titles below:

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