This weekend while helping my dad cut firewood I took a little walk around the area to look for any interesting rocks that may be laying around. The area was gravelly so there were lots of rocks but hardly any were what you would call keepers. One of the rocks I picked up did turn out to be a keeper though. A close inspection of the rock revealed a myriad of tiny fossils embedded in the granite-like surface. The little fossils were a pleasant surprise among all the ordinary rocks. As a photographer my first thought was to photograph the tiny dead creatures that lived millions of years ago. I knew I could photograph them with the camera and lens that I use on a daily basis but I wanted to get down to the microscopic level and photograph them. I don’t own macro lenses, the type of lenses used to photograph the tiniest of objects, so actually photographing the tiny fossils would be a bit of problem. I had a hunch but didn’t know if the idea would work. After giving it much thought while stacking the wood I went home and pulled out a 25 millimeter eyepiece used for viewing through a Meade mirror lens spotting scope. I turned the eyepiece around and placed it close to the rock surface and peered through the back of it. My hunch was correct. The tiny fossils were magnified. I set up my camera and light and began working. First, I made a photograph of the rock with my regular lens (seen above). Then I began working with the 25mm eyepiece. The small depth-of-field and distortion through the eyepiece gives the photographs I made of the rock an almost other-worldly atmosphere. I was particularly drawn to a small, red, perfectly oval spot on the rock that can be seen in detail in the gallery below. Enjoy!
Michael E. Palmer is a writer and photographer based in Alabama.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org