Plastic Rainbow by David McMahon

Depth of field is always a fascinating area for photographers. So when I saw this collection of ultra-slim coloured pens sitting in their clear cylindrical case on a table at home, I simply shot them exactly where they were, without moving them to where the light was better. 164 views on 20 March 2011.

The hexagonal shapes were much more interesting than traditional round pens – and the range of colours was mesmerising.

In this case, my main point of focus was the dark-green pen, but the results are really interesting. Because I was shooting from directly above and looking downwards, the colours start to look diffused and almost like a liquid rainbow.

I do not crop, enhance or post-edit my images in any way. Shot with a Pentax K100D, using an SMC Pentax-DA 1:2.8mm lens. F2.8, 1/60sec, ISO 400, focal length 35mm.

Featured in SUPERBLY VISUAL, March 2010.

Featured in CONTRASTING PERCEPTIONS, April 2010.

Featured in IF IT DOESN’T BELONG, September 2010.

Featured in FOUR-LETTER WORD, PENS, April 2011.


Walkley Award-nominated journalist, novelist and wedding photographer at

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  • Indrani Ghose
    Indrani Ghoseabout 5 years ago

    I like the composition, which is at an angle.
    Lovely shot, great DOF!

  • Thanks, Indrani. This shot was taken in 2007, in my study. The colours really emphasise the DoF. So glad you like the result.

    – David McMahon

  • Puggs
    Puggsabout 5 years ago

    Great shot david, very nicely done…

  • Thanks very much, Puggs. Really appreciate it.

    – David McMahon

  • Shubd
    Shubdabout 5 years ago

    Absolutely brilliant shot ..loved the colors and DOF

  • Thanks very much, Shubd. I didn’t re-arrange them in any way – just shot them exactly as they were. So glad you like this one.

    – David McMahon

  • Magi5760
    Magi5760about 5 years ago

    Congratulations from your hosts at Superbly Visual!

    ! !

  • That’s terrific news, Colin. Thank you very much to you and your co-hosts for the honour.

    – David McMahon

  • cornelius-x
    cornelius-xabout 5 years ago

    Very nicely done!!!

  • Thank you very much. Those colours and shapes almost composed the shot themselves!

    – David McMahon

    JUSTARTabout 5 years ago

    great colourful shot

  • Thanks very much, JustArt. I’m sure you have blooms in your garden that are the same colour!

    – David McMahon

  • Shulie1
    Shulie1about 5 years ago

    Wonderful colours!

  • Thank you, Shulie. Simple objects – as you know – can provide wonderful sights.

    – David McMahon

  • VMKgirl
    VMKgirlabout 5 years ago

    Verry nice!! I LOVE the colors!

  • Thank so much for your kind comment. I guess I was lucky that the swan images were stamped on the top of each pen, too.

    – David McMahon

  • CeePhotoArt
    CeePhotoArtalmost 5 years ago

    Your cohosts,
    Cee and Chris

  • Thanks very much, Cee and Chris.

    – David McMahon

  • shararat
    shararatalmost 5 years ago

    PERFECT FOCUS with FANTASTIC DOF…….lovely found great capture of STABILO….!!!

  • Thank you very much, Shararat. Glad you like the DoF.

    – David McMahon

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