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Crystal Cosmos | by Don Komarechka
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Crystal Cosmos

A series of images taken at 10x magnification of citric acid crystals that I grew on a few microscope slides. It’s an easy process!


Just mix citric acid powder with equal parts isopropyl alcohol and distilled water, put on a plate of glass when dissolved and wait a few hours. The process works with other things too, including Epsom salts and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C).


Put a polarizing filter on a flashlight, shine that through the slide and place another polarizing filter in opposition on top of the slide – you’ll then see the crazy colours that result from cross-polarizing these biaxially birefringement little gems!


Shot with a @lumixcan S1R – my favourite camera ever. This was attached to a Novoflex tube lens and a Mitutoyo 10x microscope objective. If you’ve got a macro lens capable of 5x magnification you can achieve very similar results with a bit of cropping, or on a less-than-full-frame sensor.


This was attached to a Novoflex CASTEL-MICRO automated focusing rail, which allowed focus to be found very easily and focus stacking because it’s impossible to get the slide perfectly parallel to the focal plane of the camera without a microscope stand.

Even a single microscope slide could yield dozens of compositions, and no two crystals ever form the same way.


If you’d like to learn more about this technique, I’ll be adding it to my upcoming book on macro photography:

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Uploaded on February 1, 2020