Stapler – The boy behind curiosity

Who on earth takes images of staplers. You will only do it if you can get in close, really close. Ficking close to be honest. A simple macro lens is not going to get you anywhere interesting. At the time this images was taken i had a concoction of misfit photographic tools that were more incoherent than a ADD teenager on speed. One thing i had at that moment was an intense curiosity of the micro “stuff”. Imagine Horton hears a Who; get my drift.

Bear in mind I just started working as a researcher with gazillion new types of microscopes. It was my job to identify small things already noticed in every students handbook, so anything new fueled my curiosity. Don’t ask me how I moved from bugs, bacteria and fungi to staplers, but since I worked in a semi government institution with government attitude, there might have been a plethora of staplers laying around. Their presence and image imprinted in the back of my subconscious for quite a time until released from confinement and fueled my conscious artistic urges.

It’s a pity I never took an image of my setup. At the time I had an old Nokia phone with no camera and one lens attached to my first digital camera, a D70. The Nokia was not very photogenic. My ace up my sleeve split the D70 and the super sharp, 18-55mm; the classic and now discontinued bellows PB-4. Needles to say the PB-4 was always stretched beyond erection. The center piece of concertina plastic paper section protesting with wooden osteoporosis rigidity. I did not listen. I wanted to get close encounters of any kind.

Very few normal people understand how it feels to have the Hubble telescope in front of you and aiming it at a strip of government staplers. I’m serious, you just cannot fathom the excitement of exploration setting in. I guess the same feeling swept over the successful moon missions. I was going to peer through this infinitely scarce and mostly not understood mechanical masterpiece of a bellows, extracting every piece of light sucked in by the amatuer lens in front. Most of the light that my humble little lens could offer me was lost in the space between. Forever rico shading to ad infinitum inside the bellows.

The exposure was a mystery, but for some unknown reason and mostly urged on by insecurity over my technical inability, I manually calculated what the exposure should be. Mathematical calculations by photographers these days are seen as a fart in the wind. We lose the ability because the latest cameras do it for us. At that time i was very much ingrained in film so involving a calculator, paper, books and a little thinking seem to be a good idea if I was to succeed in creating a printable image.

And I did.

It is not a masterpiece, but it was an adventure. It was exciting. It was thrilling just to do it. Just doing something extraordinary was what made my hobby so immensely satisfying.

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