Copper Macro

Raven Bracelet 23

Today’s subject is macro views of a Haida copper bracelet carved by Tom Greene Jr. of Skidegate (see this link for his website).  Tommy, Laura and some of her family came by to visit yesterday, bringing this bracelet. We had ordered it when we dropped by to see them on our summer trip to Haida Gwaii (formerly Queen Charlotte Islands). It is so nice to have one of his works of art – I have known Tommy for decades and seen his mastery grow during that time. Buying one of his pieces was long overdue.

This bracelet features two ravens facing each other beak tip to beak tip, with tails nearly touching where the bracelets meets on the back of the wrist. Tommy says it can also be viewed as a single raven, seen from both sides.

Tom Greene’s work is of sufficiently high quality that it can withstand this kind of magnification without embarrassment to him (I hope he agrees). His line-work is wonderfully regular and precise especially considering copper is a more difficult metal to carve than silver, his usual medium.  I find it fascinating to see these tiny ovoids and u-forms all completely within Haida artistic traditions and not substantially different from the same forms present on very large subjects, like house front paintings and poles.

My photographs are of various details, ranging in magnification depending on bellows extension and the use of an extension tube with the bellows.

Raven Bracelet 12


These photographs are taken with the old Canon FL Bellows that I recently bought in a junk store and with the Canon FD 50mm f3.5 lens and most pictures also using a “life-size adapter” extension tube. For those that have been following along, yes, I did get the adapter to fit my 5Dii on the back of the bellows, it arrived on Christmas Eve. I have not yet bothered to calculate the magnification I am working at, but think it is maxing out around 4x with this combination, and might be up to 5x or 6x if I were to reverse the lens. Some of the photos are taken at different bellows extensions in the above combination, and some without the life-size adapter and the bellows at their shortest extension, to get more of the bracelet in view for context shots.  This is in part an exercise in learning how to use the bellows unit, and partly a means to show off Tommy’s work hence the slightly eccentric mix of parts of the bracelet, and magnifications. Lighting is from a single 500 watt photoflood;I would have used two, but all the others are burned out, and it was hot work with just the one.

Raven Bracelet 10

Raven Bracelet 4


To open the gallery view

(yes, it is a gallery & must be a new WP feature well suited to this subject)

click on any thumbnail below, navigate with the arrows and escape to return to this page.



Canon 5Dii, Canon FD 50mm f3.5 Macro Lens, Canon FL Bellows, Canon Life Size Adapter, ISO100,  ranged from 1/30th to 15 seconds, f8 and f11 on lens readout but really much greater than that with extension. Light metered through the lens in AV mode, focused and shot in live view (mirror up), 2 second delay on shutter release, tripod.



13 thoughts on “Copper Macro

  1. Pingback: Eagle and Raven | burnt embers

  2. What terrific work here. The intricate details really speak to the time and patience that would be required to create something so stunning. Your photos really do a perfect job of accenting and showcasing the love and attention that has gone into it’s creation.


  3. The engraving is just beautiful on this piece. And I think Tom would like these as they are well done and respectful to the work he put into it. The macro setup is working well too.


    • Thank you Ken. It is a great subject for macro. The sit up does seem to be working. Those images are either not cropped or only lightly cropped to get background out of the way (except the last one that has more cropping to deal with other issues). My real issue now is lighting. I don’t own a flash (well, not one that works on this camera) nor anything that I can get to point at subjects awkwardly hidden by the lens. I think I get more distance from the subject when the lens is reversed so may have to make that part of my default set up. And shop for lights. What I would love to have is one of those mastadon-like microscope lights with two lights on stalks that can be pointed in any direction. I have used them in a lab for photography and they allow a great deal of control. And they are not hot. But I am sure they are ridiculously expensive, and hard to come by.


  4. Hi Ehpem,

    I have a silver ring carved by Tom Green. I met him when I was working for a long spell out of a logging camp at Stewardson Inlet. Tom was working there too, as a faller. We had some good chats, he was quite interested in what I was doing up there. He told me that when he went back to the Charlottes, he was going to get into carving. Some time later, I received the ring in the mail, with a note of thanks for inspiring him to follow this new path. I’m glad to see that he is still doing it.

    Happy new year to you and your family, and thanks for your photo blog.



    • Hi Vicki – it is so nice to have you commenting on my blog! I will point out your comment to Tom, I am sure he would be interested. And lucky you to have a ring of his! I know a few people with his work, and they all treasure it – partly for the art and partly because he made it. There always seems to be a story attached to his pieces.
      Happy New Year to you and yours as well. I am glad you like the photo blog – you are one of my first ever followers so I am pleased to see that you have not become bored and gone away :).


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