Extreme Iris Photography Eyes Up-Close
Photo credit: Markus Hofstätter
Austria-based photographer Markus Hofstätter specializes in extreme iris photography, which shows eyes like you’ve never seen them before. It all started after taking portraits of countless people and the realization that his main focus was always on their eyes. He believes eyes are a window to the soul of a person, so that is what lead him to starting this project.



Taking these photos required building a custom rig that consists of a Laowa 25mm ultra macro lens and random parts that allow him to focus in on the eyes. Unfortunately, this custom rig ended up weighing in at a hefty 4.4-pounds, but it ended up working out. Getting the perfect up-close image of an eye was another story, as each attempt could take up to 30-minutes.

Extreme Iris Photography Eyes Up-Close
Extreme Iris Photography Eyes Up-Close
Extreme Iris Photography Eyes Up-Close
Extreme Iris Photography Eyes Up-Close
Extreme Iris Photography Eyes Up-Close

You can’t manually focus with the lens, you need a macro focusing rail. To take pictures of eyes I had to build a headrest and a focusing station that had a very steady tripod. I built some kind of Frankenstein-focusing rail monster, something like that. It combined a hydraulic pinning clamp, multiple macro focusing rails, and a linear transition stage that moves like 0.25 millimeter on every turn,” said Hofstaetter to Peta Pixel.