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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Still Life, B/W & Experimental 
Thread started 20 Jan 2018 (Saturday) 20:21
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Lighted Crystals

 
Soft ­ Focus
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Jan 20, 2018 20:21 |  #1

I was trying to figure out a good source of light for seeing the inner facets of crystals. I finally settled on a simple LED flashlight. I built a little contraption to hold the flashlight up and rest the crystal above.
Here are the two crystals I started with. The big one is a Citrine, and the smaller one is a smokey quartz


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The exposure was kinda tricky. As you know, what looks good to the eye does not always come out the same in the picture. I had to do a little HDR here and there to get things back in range.
Here's how the smokey came out. Looks like the 4th of July in there.


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Soft ­ Focus
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Jan 20, 2018 20:23 |  #2

Here's the Citrine. It has some yellowish coloring in it, which really came out in this picture.


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mike1187
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Jan 22, 2018 22:46 |  #3

I don't think most people realize how difficult it can be to get a good photo of gemstones! As someone who cuts gemstones... I've spent a LOT of time trying to get the best photos of the finished stones. Sometimes they turn out well.... other times I need to re-take them!

The smokey picture looks cool, but if you want to get a better view of all of the inclusions you may want to try a second light source(or a few more) to balance the tones of the image a little more. Each light will highlight different inclusions/flaws, so with some careful positioning you will be able to get the maximum effect from each light.


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Jan 23, 2018 07:41 |  #4

Thanks Mike, I'll give that a try. My son has a lot of really nice crystals so I have some material to experiment with.
I was also thinking about trying a laser pointer to see what effect I get, but they only come in two colors. Still might be interesting.

Ted




  
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mike1187
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Jan 28, 2018 16:50 |  #5

Laser pointers do provide an interesting effect, but be aware of the possible dangers of the laser reflecting in directions you may not expect! Also, getting proper exposure can be difficult due to the intensity of the laser in localized areas.


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Capn ­ Jack
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Jan 28, 2018 17:38 |  #6

mike1187 wrote in post #18551170 (external link)
Laser pointers do provide an interesting effect, but be aware of the possible dangers of the laser reflecting in directions you may not expect! Also, getting proper exposure can be difficult due to the intensity of the laser in localized areas.

As an expansion to his correct statements, anyplace where there is a change in refractive index is a potential mirror, not just going from low to high refractive index (as we see most of the time). So the beam could go into the crystal, get bounced around inside, and re-emerge.

Nice images.




  
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mike1187
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Jan 29, 2018 20:02 |  #7

Capn Jack wrote in post #18551224 (external link)
As an expansion to his correct statements, anyplace where there is a change in refractive index is a potential mirror, not just going from low to high refractive index (as we see most of the time). So the beam could go into the crystal, get bounced around inside, and re-emerge.

Nice images.

That is actually a very good point! Something that I actually tried to actually capture many years ago. The problem I ran into is that I didn't have a "Goldilocks Stone" with "just the right" amount and type of inclusions in the crystal. A flawless stone will not allow you to actually see the beam as it travels through the stone, and one with too many inclusions simply leads to over exposure in areas, and the beam getting diffused too much to remain a beam.

I had the idea in mind that it would be really cool to do a macro photo of a crystal where the inside looked like a scene from a movie with an elaborate laser system protecting a bank vault.... but after trying several stones, I just couldn't get results that were satisfactory.


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Lighted Crystals
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