Photo of the Week – Inside a computer portable hard disk drive

This weeks Photo of the Week  is the inside of a computer portable hard disk drive from my Technology Images collection.

With the increasing use of laptop computers around the globe, the external portable hard disk drive has become a popular computer hardware addition for system backup and expanding data storage.

inside of a computer portable hard disk drive

Inside of a computer portable hard disk drive

I have 4 portable hard disk drives for backing up my computer system. Recently I dropped one of these devices on a hard floor and it has unfortunately never worked since ….¬† hence the reason for having multiple backups.

The broken drive had been sitting around the office, and with a typical “plastic block” outer form factor, I decided to pull it apart and try producing some different photographs.

Initially I started taking plain photos on a white background, but then experimented with modifying the lighting.

I found that using flash and partially blocking the light path created a interesting shadow transition across the face of the disk spindle.

Using various focal lengths, viewing angles and orientations, I achieved the additional following images:-

inside of a computer portable hard disk drive inside of a computer portable hard disk drive inside of a computer portable hard disk drive

Another important consideration in taking these types of images is the depth of field, or the range of focus. The camera is quite close to the subject, which means that even with a small aperture, only part of the image is in focus. You have to carefully choose the area you want in focus, and the areas that will still look interesting when out of focus.

I chose to focus on the arm and mounting structure near the front, while throwing the disk out of focus. An interesting optical illusion occurs when the shadow crosses the centre of the spindle, with the disk surfacing appearing to be sharper to the eye, however a closer inspection shows no difference …. I guess you could call this sharpening with contrast.

Carl Chapman

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