For these photographs, I used the MPE 65mm lens by Canon, the MT24ex dual flash, and a Manfrotto tripod with a 410 Gear Head. With this equipment I can show the tiniest close-ups of a bud, leaf, and trichome in incredible detail. Many cameras that offer macro options are really just offering close ups, not a true 1:1 ratio size. Meaning, if the object being filmed is 2mm wide, it will show up on the film plane or digital sensor as 2mm wide. With the lens I currently shoot with, I can actually get upwards of 5:1, so five times the actual size, which, to many who are familiar with digital zooms, may not seem like much, but once you get down to those levels, you realize it’s extremely close.
My interests for macro photography obviously lie in the wonders of the cannabis plant. Being able to get into these levels and see what’s going on in the macro world is, to me, a lesson worth learning. I was invited into local grower Chip’s grow house to shoot the shots you are looking at now. Chip is a talented grower who always has an incredible selection of strains. A true connoisseur, Chip gave me access to his many strains. Most of the buds I shot were living plants, but a few were dried. I went to his place twice during these photo shoots, so you see some of the plants at four, six and eleven weeks into flowering. I will indicate the flowering period for each group of photographs as we go along.
The F-13 by DJ Short is a very beautiful plant. I got to shoot it at seven and eight weeks into bloom. Red from Legends Seeds suggests a nine-week finish. The bud shot looks as good as done, even though this plant still has a few more weeks to go. In the photo, there are lovely purple striations growing up through some of the capitate stalks. This was a first for me to see this close. Once again, the color of the heads indicates this plant still has two to three weeks to go before the heads go amber. A nice foggy head though, in comparison to the Cantaloupe’s clear heads.
I’ll start with the Cantaloupe Haze from DNA Genetics in Amsterdam. This Haze was fresh on the vine, and around four weeks into flower. This strain finishes in nine weeks. In the macro you can see at four weeks that the trichome development is extremely advanced, although the transparent, clear color of the heads are a dead give away that this plant is nowhere near finished. You can also see some very pronounced cystolith hairs in this photo. These clear hairs are non-psychoactive parts of the plant that often reflect the color of the amber heads when in a pile of dry sift, much like the capitate stalks of the trichome. To the naked eye they will look golden in a pile of dry sift, but they are indeed non-active and will lower the quality of your final product if making hash.
This next plant I had never heard of; they called it the Galactic Beaver Dominator (GBD), a definite sativa and a special plant for sure. I particularly liked the macro shots of this one as it showed one of the heads beyond amber color, a mature orange. The GBD lineage started with a Chocolate Thai female from Hawaii crossed with an Indigo Diamond, which formed the Choco-Trip strain by Dutch Flowers Seeds. A cutting of that plant was sent to Vision Creator, who crossed it with a Thai male from The Flying Dutchman Seeds, and grown by Ray Davies. The resulting strain is the Galactic Beaver Dominator.
Rene is next up, and one of my all time favorites; it was such a treat to finally see the macro shots of the Rene gland heads. I was lucky enough back in the day to smoke exclusively Rene full melt bubble, and can attest that it is still to this day one of my bubblehash favorites. The strain itself smells very fruity, but once burned or vaporized it smells of haze in the air. What a great combo of flavors. Not available in seed form, but the next best thing is the strain High End available at Legends Seeds end available through Legend Seeds. This particular Rene was just over five weeks into flower. Rene can go nine weeks but most people cut at eight weeks. Personally, I really enjoy the high of Rene cut a little early – gives it a much more energetic high.
The Seedsman Haze was not very hazy in flavor or look, but the second I saw this little bud plant sitting in the corner of the room, I knew it would make some amazing macro shots. It had flowered for 11 weeks and was ready to harvest. You could see the fall colors on the plant from across the room – just a tiny little clone that was flowered in a one-gallon bucket. Sorry about the quality of the bud shot, but the macro shot that is the centerfold in this issue will make up for it, with the amber to orange heads and the fall colors throughout the leaf.
San Fernando Valley OG
The San Fernando Valley OG Kush, or “Dank Kush” as Chip called it, was 35 to 40 days into bloom, and the lineage is a bit fuzzy despite being called the OG Kush. OG Kush macros look much like the Rene strain. Short and stocky now, these trichomes will grow in height and produce some very lovely amber-colored heads. It has very pronounced cystolith hairs and bulbous trichomes sure to shine in the upcoming weeks.
Special K is a very special plant indeed. A Vision Creator strain, the Island Queen Bud is crossed with an Afghani. It is extremely potent; the hash from this strain melts perfectly. I photographed her at five-plus weeks into bloom, and it went for another three weeks after that.
Back in the day we called this Hashplant strain the Bushhash, introduced to me back in the early 1990s by my first mentor in the herb scene, RH. The Bushhash grew small little fan leaves and packed a wicked stone. I am not sure if this is the exact phenotype I smoked back in the day, but I was very happy to see anything with the Bushhash name. I got a dried bud shot, as well as some sweet macros of the live plant, which was loaded with glandular trichomes.
The Wunderkush is a pungent and stony plant; this dried bud had been flowered for eight weeks.
I photographed the Congolese sativa once it was dry bud. A big up to Rainha Ginga in Spain and Vision Creator for finding this phenotype, and of course Chip for growing it so nicely. This Congolese (apparently real pygmy weed) is one of my top-five sativa strains. Dried, it had a strong smell and a beautiful high. This specimen was extremely well preserved, as it went from hanging, to trimmed and stored in a jar before it was photographed.
Legend’s Ultimate Indica
Legend’s Ultimate Indica (LUI) is photographed dried and cured for months in a jar, never losing any trichomes to plastic baggies. Typical plastic baggies produce static electricity that grabs resin heads off the bud and bond permanently. Look at your baggies carrying your stash; the surface of the inside of the bag is covered with resin you cannot recover and reuse. The close up of the LUI bud shows the cystolith hair has fallen over and pierced the head of the trichome and, probably through heat, dripped and melted away. Amazing how delicate these little glands of goodness can be.
And finally, a strain that is being seen more and more around Vancouver is the Purple Kush, an excellent replacement for the once-popular Jamaican/Sugar Bear strain that produced frosty looking buds but had a weak high. As the macro shots show, this Purple Kush is a much better commercial strain as it really is completely covered in glands. This was a bud dried after seven weeks of flowering.
You can check out more photos of bubblehash, buds, and beautiful trichomes at my website: www.FullMeltBubble.com