Mineral photos with reflection

The short visit of Martin Gruell in Linz resulted in some nice mineral photos from his collection. I learned some new photo tricks from Martin and my friend Albert Russ, both very skilled mineral photographers. I finally managed to properly merge the photos with various focus to achieve very high DOF, improved the background isolation process and learned to create false reflection. This brings the photos to the whole new level. It means more Photoshop work – but I save a lot of time while shooting and do not have to bring whole studio with me.

tourmaline from paprok, afghanistanNice 3.5 cm high pink tourmaline in white albite from Paprok, Afghanistan. This photo was made of 3 layers to achieve good DOF.

gwindel smoky quartz from AlpsThe multiple rotated twin of smoky quartz (called gwindel) from the Alps, about 8 cm wide.

moving trainPhoto of the moving train on the way home.

Minerals under the microscope

I did some microphotographs of thin sections this week. Fort hose unfamiliar with geology: thin section is a very thin and polished slice of rock prepared to study with polarising microscope. My thin sections are a bit more thick then usual (about 200 micrometers) – which results in pretty strange colors in the microscope. All of the thin sections are from various lithium rich pegmatites – these are special vein type rocks extremely enriched in rare elements like lithium, beryllium, cesium, niobium or tantalum.

Photos were made with the Olympus microscope and attached DSLR camera. Real width of the photos is about 2-3 mm.

thin section of mica in polarising microscope

Big flake of mica with green tourmaline needle on the left side. The other grains are quartz.

thin section of lepidolite mica and tourmalines

The banded flakes are the Li-rich mica (lepidolite). The big pink and blue grains in the middle are Li-rich tourmalines (elbaite). the other grains are again quartz.

thin section of quartz and k-feldspar

The purple and blue-yellow parts are various types of intergrown feldspars, the left rim is made of the quartz.

thin section with lepidolite, elbaite and quartz

The big blue-purple grain in the left part is quartz and right to it is banded flake of Li-mica (lepidolite). The colorful grains above the mica are all Li-tourmaline (elbaite).

Various mineral photos

I have visited my friend and mineral collector Ivo Halicek few days ago. The primary reason was to discuss his website development but I managed to do also some photos of his awesome minerals. I have focused on pyrite because I needed photos for the pyrite article.


Pyrite with sphalerite and quartz from abandoned mines in Banska Stiavnica, Slovakia. Now considered a classic and very expensive material. Size 6.5×4.5 cm.


Nice texture of polished slab of malachite from Katanga, Democratic republic of Congo. Aproximately 10 cm wide.


Nice pentagon dodecahedron of pyrite from Rio Marina, Elba island, Italy. This classic piece has 6×6 cm.