Thursday, January 26, 2012

Moar Mineral Mashing Madness: Muscovite

Here's a preview of a larger project that's in the works. I plan on bashing my way through Bowen's Reaction Series, but I thought I'd post one of the shots to get some feedback. Mainly, is the depth of field sufficient? I'm limited in how small I can make the camera's aperture and still get decent results, so I can't get more depth of field without buying more lights. And the pair of 500W tungsten lights I'm using right now are really, really hot. Like over 200°C near the bulb hot.

So, in what what will become a more "continuous" series (heh) of clips for the silicate minerals:

I'm not sure I like the hammer used in this shot - the 3lb sledge was too heavy to quickly pull away, so it kind of dominates the scene and covers up the mineral, so I adjusted the playback speed in a few places to minimize the time the hammer occupies the frame. The well-developed single plane cleavage of muscovite presented some additional challenges. In order to produce deformation (separation along that cleavage plane), I needed the direction of maximum stress (the hammer blow) to be perpendicular to the cleavage plane. I was worried that a smaller hammer would simply slip off or something and leave me without much visible deformation. But this kind of hammer wouldn't produce good results with smaller, more brittle samples.

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