Small change may often be overlooked, and some countries have even stopped producing their smallest units of currency for their high cost and low value. Photographer Martin John Callanan brings out new appeal from these coins in his project The Fundamental Units, as he creates extremely high resolution images of minimum value coins of various national currencies. Working with the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington, UK, Callanan uses an infinite focus 3D microscope to bring out all the minuscule details of the used coins, revealing the “materiality of the coins and all the wear, tear, damage and corrosion.”
The photographer aims to produce images of coins from 166 nations, resulting in square prints that measure around 4 feet on each side. Each image, a result of 4,000 individual exposures, is processed for three days to be turned into its final composition.