The Cooksey Challenge for November 2014 was macro, and as mentioned before, I find the bulk of macro photography is limited to flowers & insects.  I wanted something different and this is the result.

Macro image of the inside of a hard disk drive

The image is of the inside of a hard disk drive, showing the highly reflective disk platters, the spindle and the read/write head and arm that holds it.

With a couple of old failed drives from old personal computers around I thought the inside of a drive would make for an interesting macro photograph that would suit this months Cooksey Challenge.  I also wanted to symbolise the data that is stored on the drive platter itself, and knew that the surface was very reflective.  I tried a few print outs of various documents, but in the end preferred the simple page from a novel we had on our bookshelves.

The light source was a simple tungsten light off to camera right, with the book sitting behind and to the left of the drive housing.  I had a 36mm Kenko extension tube with an 17-85mm lens at around 66mm.  I used an aperture of f/32 to get the most depth of field I could with the extension tube on.  This gave me a shutter speed of 5sec at ISO 100.

As you can see, even at f/32 the text from the book is still out of focus.  The page was still another 50mm away from the arm and spindle. I wasn’t going to keep that in focus as well except with perhaps using focus stacking.   At this point I haven’t yet tried focus stacking for macro or any other genre of photography.

For a little bit of techno history check out the first commercial hard drive that stored less than 5MB of data.  Micro SD cards (smaller than a fingernail) store 16GB, which is over 3000 times as much as this drive that needed a forklift to move it.