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The 'Not Pink' Pixel 3 under a macro lens

The understated pale pink Pixel 3 (the XL in this case) looks great up close under a macro lens.

Angela Lang
1 of 26 Angela Lang/CNET

The Pixel 3 XL is a top-of-the-line phone with a great camera that can take excellent low-light photos. It's also water resistant, has wireless charging and the latest Android Pie software.

Photographing the phone in its new pale pink color (which Google dubbed "Not Pink") was slightly challenging. It was especially difficult to capture its true color, sometimes it photographed pink and other times it looked white under different lighting. It also seemed to take on various other colors in between, as in this image in which the purple fabric makes it look more pink-purple than it actually is.

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The concept for this image was to line up each Google Pixel phone with the corresponding number. The red puck was matched up with the Google Pixel 3 since it's the most recent phone. 

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Lighting was a bit of a challenge due to the reflective nature of the shuffleboard's polyurethane finish and the pucks metal center. When I positioned myself directly over the board, the reflection distracted from the photos. In the end, I opted to shoot from an angle while bouncing artificial light from my strobe off of a nearby wall. 

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In this image, I used a round metal prop to enhance the round features of the camera, circuit and flash. It was a balancing act to photograph it propped up without falling. I added a large piece of upholstery to the studio floor for the just-in-case.

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Here is a pull back shot of the metal prop, Lume Cube and phone in action. this little device was essential for capturing the following Pixel 3 shots. 

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Capturing the unique light pink color of this phone was achieved by photographing it on a pure white table for comparison. 

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The in-ear audio grille on the Pixel looks quite large in this macro image, but in actuality it is rather small in comparison to the size of the phone.

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A macro lens can capture the smallest of grooves as shown in this image of the Pixel 3's fingerprint scanner. It took a few attempts with lighting to show the depth of the groove.

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My new favorite photography accessory is a device called a Lume Cube, which provides a powerful light source to capture the inside of phones and adds dramatic light -- as shown in this image.

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The Pixel 3 photographed on its side against a prop. The focus in this image was to highlight both the phone and the prop without having the metal prop take too much attention away from the phone. After a few tries the desired balance was achieved.

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This image was shot to highlight the USB Type-C port and SIM card holder with diagonal lights. The bottom half is black studio paper and the royal blue is a trunk that was used as a background color.

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The letter G for Google photographed purple rather than a soft pinkish hue with studio lighting.

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Bokeh gives this image a dreamy and artistic look. It provides an attractive background for the lovely rounded corners of the Pixel 3. Interestingly enough, the way it was photographed really shows off the phone's white and pinkish hue.

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Another usage of bokeh, which give this image a dramatic and whimsical look and feel.

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A macro view of the SIM card tray's pinhole.

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I've walked past these chartreuse chairs for weeks and always thought that someday I would use it as a bright and bold background. Today was that day.

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This is what the Pixel 3's SIM card looks like under a macro lens. The challenge of pulling out a SIM card and moving it around for a photo is to take care not dropping it on the ground (which happened in the end). Then, I had to pick up this teeny card as delicately as possible.

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Another view of the SIM card tray from a different angle.

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A side view of the Pixel 3 photographed to show the ridge of the camera. This image was created by holding the phone directly under a softbox, and using the white fabric as a simple background. Using this direct light source provided dramatic black shadows on the side.

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Here is a view that most Google Pixel 3 owners have probably not seen. It's an extreme close-up of the imprinted text of Google's address! For this image, I shot it with a dramatic black background to bring out the lines and shape of the full SIM card.

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This warm image of the USB Type-C port and SIM card tray was created by using a sheet of gold mylar paper.

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The LED flash photographed at an extreme close-up. It almost looks like two friend eggs.

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When shooting macro images, I need to use reading glasses to make sure that the images are as sharp as possible.

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A close-up of the lens, rear microphone and LED flash. This image took more than a few attempts, as I needed to be directly over the phone to get both sides in focus.

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This is the last image I created. It took a few attempts to get the focus of this extremely small rear microphone that's next to the camera.

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Here is an image of the Not-Pink Google Pixel 3 phone which looks almost white due to studio lighting. This image was created to show the camera, circuit, and LED flash as a unit.

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