Danny J. Sanchez is obsessed with gemstones. He says this fascination with minerals has been with him since he was a kid.
In 2004, Danny enrolled in the “Graduate Gemologist” program at the Gemological Institute of America.
It was during this program that Danny first saw pictures of the interior structures of gemstones through powerful microscopes. Specifically, Danny was fascinated with gemstone inclusions.
A gemstone inclusion is when a characteristic (either a different type of mineral/compound or a distinct crystal pattern) gets caught within the formation of a larger gem. Danny describes inclusions as “gems within gems”.
“I’m not sure, exactly, what the first photo of gemstone inclusions that I saw was but I know that once I saw it, I was hooked. Soon after that, in 2006, I bought my first microscope and started this hobby in earnest,”
he said in an interview with Sploid’s Jesus Diaz.
You can check out some of his photos below:
This hobby isn’t something that Danny just picked up overnight. It has taken a lot of time and money for him to put together the rig that he uses for his photography.
He told Sploid,
“I’m definitely a gadget-head. I even belong to a Facebook group dedicated to “gadgetry”. It’s in my blood to tinker and build, dissect and re-arrange. Putting together the rig that I use to photograph has been tedious and not inexpensive.”
But with the help of, “private vendors, online friends around the world, Craigslist and a lot of Ebay,” Danny was able to learn about the photography process while simultaneously assembling the necessary gadgetry.
When he first started off, he was focused on capturing specific gemstone inclusions, but as time passed his perspective began to change:
“…as I worked more and more, trying to photograph these gems within gems, I realized that the real joy and real challenge was trying to capture the sense of space that these inclusions inhabit.
Through the scope, it’s truly an other worldly scene where scale is thrown out (of) the window and if I can capture that in a way that leaves people wondering if what they’re looking at is real or not, or big or small, that image is a success.”
Check out the original story from Sploid here.
For more of his work, check out Danny’s website here.