Mineral Photography – Creating a photo with a graduated background

I have created a short series of videos on how to end up with a photo with a graduated background. Each one is best viewed directly in Youtube, and full screen…

The first one takes you through the basics of stacking using Zerene Stacker.

The second one takes you through one simple way of removing the unwanted background.

The third one takes you through one way of adding a graduated background.

The fourth and final one is just a bit of final tweaking, aka post-processing.

Don’t forget to have a look at my Patreon page to see what else I am working on.

Wulfenite and Mimetite, Rowley Mine, Arizona

A Wee Bit of Fool’s Gold…

A very close-up photo of pyrite crystals, also known as Fool’s Gold, in quartz, from the Ethiudna Mines, Mt Victor Plumbago Station, Olary Province, South Australia, Australia. Photo width is about 1.5mm.

Pyrite, The Ethiudna Mines, Mt Victor Plumbago Station, Olary Province, South Australia, Australia

Extreme Macro…

This is a specimen of primarily colourless lustrous barite crystals (which is the only mineral species that was on the label). However, under the microscope, pale blue turquoise can be seen, and an isolated tarnished chalcopyrite crystal (not in the photo).

When I took a close-up photo, I could then see tiny yellow crystals, not picked up under the microscope until after I knew they were there. These are very, very, very small, only about 0.006mm across! At this magnification, it is difficult to identify the mineral species, however they do look very much like smaller versions of crystals that have been analysed, and shown to be mottramite.

Barite, Turquoise, Mottramite, Chalcopyrite, Monakoff Mine, Cloncurry, Queensland

Quartz Goblins…

This is a photo of the inside of a smoky quartz crystal from Mooralla, western Victoria, Australia. The rainbow effect comes from internal flaws or fractures that diffract light, splitting it into its component colours.

Now some people believe that crystals, including smoky quartz, can have special properties such as healing. Me? I don’t. But I think I believe in Goblins, or Imps, or Sprites, or other non-earthly beings. It’s true! Look at this photo closely. I can see at least five different entities! Can you?

Click on the one below to see a larger image…