Minerals look very interesting in the photographs. It is easier to photograph them nowadays as they are much more available. Various mineral fairs are organised these days. You can buy or photograph minerals in jeweller’s shops. My favourite mineral is agate. It is semi-precious mineral, colourful striped variety of chalcedony. Agates occur in geodes which are the cavities in volcanic rocks produced by a gas bubbles in the hardening lava. Agates are formed by the precipitation of deposits from colloidal or gel solutions of silica which fill the geodes. This process is uneven and it lasts very long. Silica can have different colourations depending on the pigment that is dissolved in it at that point in time. It can also contain different additives. As a result heterogeneous colouration and structure of agates occur. Although, it is possible to artificially produce different precious stones, all agates are the wonders of nature. We only learnt to colour them artificially as their natural colouring is light and not that interesting therefore.

Canon 50d, Canon 100 mm L IS Macro, Macro Twin Lite MT-24 EX flash

The thin agate plates look beautiful. The pattern you can see on them can enrapture us with its beauty and stimulate our imagination. The picture enchanted in a stone by nature looks like an underwater coral reef. It can be photographed in hundred ways, using different magnifications. When photographing agate I used a macro flash as its intense light allows you to penetrate the stone and bring out more details. You only have to take a shot at a right angle so that the flat surface of material does not reflect the light in a bad way.


Here I put the so called snakeskin agate on another one.
According to me, it looks like the underwater coral reef and some kind of representative of the sea fauna captured at night.

In the next photo the same agate looks like a surface of some planet with peculiar formation. Somewhere beyond the horizon a foreign moon shines. The planet is surrounded by the thick atmosphere through which the remote stars shine.

Olympus XZ-1

Another photo from the series ‘unworldly landscapes’. The agate plate illuminated with Olympus Macro Arm Light from the front and from the back.

Agates are deposited upon the walls of geode. Thanks to their porosity they let the siliceous matter in and that is how their subsequent layers are formed.
Many agates are hollow as the space inside is not fully filled yet, forming the so called cavity. The walls of the cavity are covered with something resembling a crystalline brush.

Olympus XZ-1

The picture below shows the agate plate that looks like a sky blue lagoon.

Canon 50d, Canon 100 mm L IS Macro, Macro Twin Lite MT-24 EX flash

Opaque variety of quartz the so-called tiger’s eye.

Wavellite in the photo.

Canon 50d, Canon 100 mm L IS Macro, Macro Twin Lite MT-24 EX flash

Canon 50d, Canon 100 mm L IS Macro, Macro Twin Lite MT-24 EX flash
Quartz on the pyrite.

Canon 50d, Canon 100 mm L IS Macro, Macro Twin Lite MT-24 EX flash

Amazonite in the photo.

The next photo is amazing. It is hard to believe that there is so much beauty hidden in the minerals. It is a photo of a tiny agate. It is about 2cm long and looking at it you can’t practically see anything. Only in the light of the flash patterns are revealed. When I saw this photo for the first time, I thought to myself: “The sky encapsulated in a stone”. Wasn’t I right? When you look closely at it, you can see almost everything that can be seen in the photos of outer space taken e.g. by the Hubble Space Telescope. There are nebulas, stars and galaxies and even irregular planetoids that look like the chunks of rock flying in the outer space. Look at the amazonite in the photo above. Doesn’t it look like a satellite photograph of the Amazon rainforest with large deforested areas?

Canon 50d, Canon 100 mm L IS Macro, Macro Twin Lite MT-24 EX flash

Ammonite, or rather its fossilized shell.

Imagine incredible Inca pyramids in great miniature all made of gold sparkling with all the colours of the rainbow. This is how the bismuth crystals look.

And now a surprise for the real dreammers.

This is a small chunk of rock with gold nuggets. However, the photograph, even the most precise one, creates some kind of illusion. When there is no specific point of reference, we can’t assume the actual size of an object. Having such a photograph we can imagine that we have discovered the legendary El Dorado. Thus I’m standing in front of a giant mountain which conceals gigantic veins of gold. The black hole at the bottom is the entrance to an old gold mine above which the beginning of veins of gold can be seen. I enter the mine, shine my torch and then an amazing sight meets my eyes.

The gold massive formation consisting of hundreds of overlapping different-sized cubes. My heart stars to beat faster, I touch this mountain and feel metallic cold. Is it a real gold? I direct my torch to the side and a wall set with gold crystals meets my eyes. I am getting more and more excited.

I walk deeper into the tunnel. In the torch light more and more different wonders of nature loom into view. I am dumbstruck at the sight of beautiful set cascades of precious blue opals that cover the cave walls.

The mine walls became dark and shiny, and they sparkle intensively with all the colours of the rainbow.

At some point the corridor widens and forms something in a shape of a high cathedral. Massive crystal windows, which let in a dimmed sunlight, are embedded in its vault. The crystal shimmering with all the colours of the rainbow is a source of gold metal rays that resemble huge swords.

The walls are covered with black crystals of diamonds, lumps of gold and pink crystals of amethyst.

In the central place of the cathedral there is something resembling a massive goblet filled to capacity with crystal clear water.

Despite the sorrow in my heart I leave this beautiful chamber and I walk through a narrow rising-up corridor. Finally I discern a light at the end of the tunnel and I leave the cave after a while. It turns out that I am on the top of the mountain covered with gold and massive rock crystals.

When I look down, on the other side of the mountain at its foot I can see an oasis with
a network of roads. Who can live there?

Let’s finish this imaginary journey. You would probably think that I went too far, however, what would the photography and even art be without imagination? Probably only an expressionless record of reality. I could have placed these photos with the captions with the names of minerals and that would be it. However, you have to have your own subjective point of view and look at reality when taking photographs. You have to know what you want to show to others, how to attract their attention to something that they maybe cannot see. It is good to arrange photos in such a way they tell a story. When we treat photography in such a way, it soon turns out that it influences and changes us. We start to look deeply into everything. We get to know not only the theoretical and practical info on the photography, but most of all, we learn a lot about our subjects. We develop a passion which can be really important in our lives, I would even call it the “sweetness of my existence”. Although, maybe your adventure with photography started in a banal way e.g. with buing a DSLR camera for your child.