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News & Insight

Beautiful Chemistry: Stunning Macro Images of Chemical Reactions Captured in 4K

By Hanssie on October 7th 2014

High school chemistry is one of those far off memories I wish not to revisit. I remember making a molecular structure out of spice drops and that’s about it. My subconscious has probably suppressed those dreaded semesters filled with logarithms, test tubes and formulas – algebra disguised as science.  I somehow passed the class with a B and never looked back.

If chemistry was presented in another manner though – a manner that appealed to my visual and artistic side, one free of exponents and unit conversions – I may have put down my pager and paid a bit more attention. So is the goal of the project Beautiful Chemistry, a collaboration between the Institute of Advanced Technology at the University of Science and Technology of China and Tsinghua University Press. This partnership seeks to “bring the beauty of chemistry to the general public through digital media and technology.

And beautiful it is.

Behold class, the wonderful macro world of chemical reactions, naked to the human eye:

beautiful-chemistry-1

Metal Displacement

Fluorescent Chemicals NaOH

Fluorescent Chemicals NaOH

[REWIND: ‘SLOW LIFE’ – A GORGEOUS UNDERWATER MACRO TIME-LAPSE CREATED FROM 150,000 RAW IMAGES]

They used a Panasonic GH4 to capture the amazing macro details of each chemical reaction in glorious 4K, no test tube or petrie dish in sight. The team, headed by Yan Liang, PhD, chose the GH4 due to its great reviews, the desire to have large depth of field while shooting macro and the reasonable cost. They used a Tokina 100mm f/2.8 macro lens for many of the shots and shot at f/16 to maximize the DOF with the reproduction ratio typically between 1:1 to 1:1.5.

In the following video, you can see eight of the chemical reactions. Most of the still images are pulled from their 4K footage, making the very lovely 8-megapixel images you see in this post. I freaking love science.

Zn-CuSO4-H2SO4-01

Bubbling

Bubbling

Crystallization

Crystallization

Chemical Garden

Chemical Garden

Precipitation

Precipitation

If you think these images are amazing, you should see all the videos. To see more incredible videos from this project, check out Vimeo . To keep up with this project, see more images and for new imagery, check out the Beautiful Chemistry website and blog.

CREDITS: All photographs by Yan Liang and the Beautiful Chemistry project are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

[Via 4/3 Rumors/Vimeo]

 

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About

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at www.hanssie.com. Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Aaron Cheney

    Absolutely gorgeous!

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  2. Zeb Yap-Chung

    4k always looks cool, but this shed light on some unique stuff

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  3. MARTIN MIANO

    awesome shots takes us way back

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  4. Clare Havill

    So beautiful, I’ve always been fascinated by the macro world.

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  5. Matt Molloy

    Inspiring stuff! Makes me want to break out the macro lens and shoot some tiny timelapses.

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  6. David De Fotograaf

    Awesome. Here 4K truly delivers…

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  7. Ipek Amdahl

    As a chemical engineer, I can’t help but just love these!

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  8. Brian Hammonds

    Great shots of an interesting set of subjects.

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