Carnival of the Grotesques


Link Posted 25/04/2020 - 11:35
Hi all... there's a log in our local park that our kids play on. A couple of years ago, I happened to take a closer look at it, and was very surprised to see all sorts of dark and murky worlds in miniature. I posted the first set of shots here a while back. Over the last 2 years I decided to do a long form photographic project on it, and have been back on a number of occasions, in varying seasons, weather conditions, times of day, light states etc..

Tucked away in the shadows of the woodgrain, there lurk a whole host of creatures and apparitions, hewn out of the decay by the wind, rain, and old father time, almost like the last surviving exhibits from a long forgotten Victorian Carnival.

The subjects themselves are no more than an inch or so across: as I think I said last time, in some ways I suppose you could describe it as a Macro project, but I prefer to think of it as Micro Landscape Photography project, due to the various worlds and creatures contained within.

All images were taken using the PENTAX K-1 II, and various lenses, including FA 50mm 1.4, and DFA 100m F2.8 Macro.













All thoughts, comments and observations etc. very welcome as ever...




Link Posted 25/04/2020 - 12:13
Fabulous images you have spotted and created there...Bill I Keep being put off by the price of the DFA 50 1.4...! But am always attracted to the stunning creations folks are making with it... ! I may have to reconsider...Lol

How Do you get the 100mm macro so close up ?
K-1Gripped K-1 ungripped K-5ii K7 Various lenses



Link Posted 25/04/2020 - 12:16
There's different. Very well photographed and put together Bill. Evocative patterns, textures and contrasts.

It's a close second to the Tree of the Dead from Sleepy Hollow.

Best regards


Link Posted 25/04/2020 - 12:24
A fantastic array of abstract art!
Best regards, John


Link Posted 25/04/2020 - 15:42
Great stuff. Munch’s “The Scream” comes to mind

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Last Edited by pschlute on 25/04/2020 - 15:43


Link Posted 25/04/2020 - 15:54
Very good! Reminds me of H R Giger's 'Alien' designs
My new website:link


Link Posted 25/04/2020 - 16:59
To get so many excellent images from one log is pretty exceptional

So far I've seem Van Gogh's style, a dinosaur, a ghostly bird, an ariel view of a strange hilly land and a human spectre - absolutely fascinating, and your technique and processing have brought out the best in these


Link Posted 25/04/2020 - 17:14
Great set of an interesting new subject, nice one
Last Edited by rickhanson on 25/04/2020 - 20:28


Link Posted 25/04/2020 - 17:33
I should everyone who sees these will be looking at old logs in a new way - I know I will! A superb illustration of what you can see if you only look!


Link Posted 26/04/2020 - 01:10
You could look at these all night, so packed they are with interest and interpretations.
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

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Link Posted 26/04/2020 - 07:01
Nice, they would grace any art studio wall.
C&C welcome.


Link Posted 26/04/2020 - 07:53
Excellently observed and framed, a fascinating project. You have probably set a few ideas in motion here!


Link Posted 26/04/2020 - 11:16
Brilliant set. I first saw it on Ricoh's promotional Facebook page, crediting you for your roll as a Pentax ambassador
Too Old To Die Young


Link Posted 26/04/2020 - 17:42
Thanks Stu, Gary, John R, Peter, Michael, John L, Rick, John S, David, Don, Rob, and Barrie... very good of you and much appreciated as ever...

Stu, thanks for your thoughts... yes, would love to get my hands on a DFA 50 1.4 myself! This was actually the old FA 50mm 1.4, which I've had for years, and love... I used it as it is, and also on extension tubes as a manual lens... both stopped down and wide open... the DFA 100mm focuses from about 30cm if memory serves, so you can get in pretty close... I've cropped a few of these, and a fair few of these were done using focus stacking, so with those the focus breathing naturally crops the image...

Gary, hadn't come across the Tree of the Dead from Sleepy Hollow before, but have now... thanks for that... properly scary...

Peter, funnily enough it was a postage stamp sized likeness of The Scream that I first noticed in the decaying wood, and got me into this project in the first place... it was literally the first one of these I saw... didn't include it this time as have already covered it, but it was the first in the series, and very much set the tone for the whole thing...

Michael, thanks also for the "Alien" reference... didn't know it was HR Giger who did those... yes, agreed, very much in that territory...

John L... thanks vmuch for your positivity re these... one of the things that keeps me going back is the variety of what seems to come up... very much dependent on weather conditions - I shot a lot of these in the rain - helps with the darkness/contrast in the wood grain...

John S... yes, a combination of a fair amount of random bumping into-ness, but keeping one eye open whilst you're doing it...

Cheers again all...




Link Posted 26/04/2020 - 17:48
A fascinating peek into the grotesque, and a hidden miniature landscape. Some have the feel like that painting The Scream.

Generally I find the ones on a flatter plane work best.... I have noticed myself when trying close ups of bits of logs that out of focus areas and shallow DOF effects don't seem to work well, and I feel the same here (eg the ladybird one). Not sure why, as it's a natural thing to try.
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Last Edited by McGregNi on 26/04/2020 - 17:50
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