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'macro' as 'more detail than unaided eyes'
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaveW wrote:
What people prefer are "Go, No Go guages".

DaveW,

Some people prefer that.

Personally, I find that the go/no-go approach confuses many issues more than clarifying them -- kind of like thresholding a gray-scale image to get pure black and pure white. A difference of opinion -- we don't need to agree on it, and I doubt that either of us will convert the other. Very Happy

Switching subjects, I notice you haven't commented about the OED entries. Personally, I was expecting to see quite a bit of variation about the use of "photomacrography", but I really was surprised to see such a long and well established equating of "photomacrography" and "macrophotography". It fits well with your earlier description of "the language of the masses". But I think it also fits very nicely with your description of "illogical, but useful" -- since English has other words like "posters" and "billboards" to describe extreme enlargements. Or maybe it's "useful, and logical", since in general English does not invert the meaning of a phrase when the order of two adjectives is changed.

What's your reaction to what the OED says?

--Rik
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DaveW



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rik

According to your OED definitions, if we used the scientific method of priority as used in botany and zoology where the originator or first publisher of the term decides it's meaning then:-

Macrophotography T. J. Wall Dictionary of Photography 1889
= a term used to denote enlargement of the negative (i.e. making photographs of larger than usual size macro = large + photography).

Photomacrography J. Deschin New Ways in Photography 1936
= a type of photography that has recently gained general favour amongst hobbyists.

To find what this type of photography was you would really need to consult Deschin's work, but Ilford in Ilford Manual of Photography 1942 qualified this as "low power magnifications usually of opaque objects". Obviously 1:1 is nil magnification on the film or sensor and "low power magnification would start from 1:1 onwards until Photomicrography took over. Obviously anything less than 1:1 on the film/sensor is a reduction not magnification.

Whether Ilford had consulted Deschin's book for this definition I do not know. What is clear is that Macrophotography meaning the making of large photographs (like murals or advertising hoardings) takes priority over it's use to mean large or greater than 1:1 images on the negative or sensor.

Seemingly then Photomacrography is the correct term for large images on the sensor or negative and Macrophotography ought to be limited to meaning producing large photographs.

Dave Whiteley

PS Rik you must have posted just seconds before I posted this, but I seem to have been clairvoyant and answered your questions anyway. We must be telepathic, or should that be telepathetic! Laughing
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Epidic



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rjlittlefield wrote:
Epidic wrote:
A loupe is a small optical instrument that allows you to see small objects better. Photomacrography is the photography of small objects.

This better be good or we are going to discuss whether knowledge is apriori as well as Kant and the catagories of reason. Laughing

No, I don't want to go that far -- I never could Kant. Laughing

The reason I asked the question is because I thought you would have to reply as you did: "to see small objects better".

Better than what? Better than the unaided eye, I presume.

So I claim that Kodak's definition implicitly includes the concept that the photomacrograph should reveal more detail than the unaided eye would see in the original subject.

If it doesn't, then why did they choose to describe the subject in that way?

--Rik


And so the Kodak definition is fine and does not need to be changed. Kodak obviously realized the subjective nature of the term "macro" and so did not attempt to give it an "objective" definition. So we are back where we started which is "macro" is a subjective term. I am all for it.
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DaveW



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But Kodak does not have priority in defining the term Photomacrography. If Deschin did not actually define it in his book, then priority passes to Ilford in 1942 "low power magnification of usually opaque subjects".

Magnification simply means greater than life size, anything less than 1:1 is a reduction, not magnification as pointed out earlier. As photographs of small subjects taken at less than life size were routinely printed larger than life size before 1936. we can only presume that Deschin's "a type of photography that has recently gained favour amongst hobbyists" was photographing at 1:1 or greater on the emulsion.

Again "macro" in the sense of macrophotography was already defined as making large photographs, not a large size image on the emulsiom. The later misuse of the term macrophotography is an illegitimate later synonym of photomacrography because it does not comply with the original publication of the term.

DaveW
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Epidic



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK. I found the Focal Encyclopedia.

Here is the definition of photomacrography (page 600):

Quote:
Photomacrography has been defined in terms of both magnification and equipment use; there is no standard, universally accepted definition. Generally, photomacrography is the practice of photography at magnifications between that which can be done with an ordinary camera and lens, and that which requires a compound microscope that is between life-size and 40x - 50x magnification.


That is followed by four pages of technical discussion. This was authored by John Gustav Delly, Senior Research Microscopist and Professor, McCrone Research Institute, Chicago, Illinois. The reference bibliography uses standard texts.

Here is the definition of photomicrography (page 618):

Quote:
Photomicrography is a specialized form of microprojection by which photographs of minute objects are made with a camera and a microscope. It should not be confused with microphotography, which is the process by which minute photographs are made of large objects.


And just to finish to get a complete set, here is closeup photography (page 103):

Quote:
Closeups are photographs of subjects made at a close range, i.e. closer than the normal camera focusing mechanism will allow.


That is followed by technical information.

Anyway, here it is if there is still interest in this discussion. I have to return the book to the box now.
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 3:19 pm    Post subject: Deschin's definition of "photomacrography" Reply with quote

I have no idea why, but this discussion continues to be interesting to me.

As DaveW suggested, I did consult Deschin (1936 J. Deschin New Ways in Photogr. xiv. 208, referenced by OED as the first use of "photomacrography"). It turns out that this publication was a book that is still conveniently and inexpensively available through the used-book marketplace. My copy came yesterday. It looks to be an interesting read, since it is specifically targeted toward the hobbyist's edge in contributing to the advancement of photography. "That is why, free of the professional's necessity to cultivate the "commercial" angle, [the hobbyist] often produces a new sort of picture." (pg. viii).

In any case, here are the (only) sections of the book that discuss photomacrography. (Page xiv is part of a list of illustrations that points to the Potato Patch photo.)




Content copyright 1936, the McGraw-Hill Book Company. Reproduced here under the "fair use" copyright doctrine.

I find this fascinating. I had previously identified three aspects of "photomacrography" having to do with the size of the subject, the amount of revealed detail, and the technology involved in making the image. To my eye, Deschin seems to be focusing on a fourth aspect: making the image look "like something other than the object photographed". But leaving that aspect aside...

I think it's noteworthy that although his one example apparently uses a larger-than-life-size lens magnification, Deschin specifically allows to "make a big picture ... by enlargement" (of the negative), as opposed to enlarging "directly on the negative". I simply cannot interpret Deschin's words as restricting the term "photomacrography" to life-size-or-larger lens magnifications. That restriction seems to have been added later, by other authors.

--Rik
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 3:25 pm    Post subject: Wall's definition of "macrophotography" Reply with quote

I also did a bit more tracking down of OED's first recorded use of "macrophotography", 1889 E. J. Wall Dict. Photogr..

Unfortunately, that book is more difficult to come by. A few copies are available on the used market, but the cost approaches $150 USD, rather more than I'm willing to spend on etymological curiosity.

However, the search itself called to my attention that OED's second reference, 1940 A.L.M Sowerby Wall's Dict. Photogr. (ed.15), is almost certainly the 15th edition of a line of dictionaries tracing directly back to Wall's 1889 work.

This is interesting because the 1940 reference makes perfectly clear that the term "macrophotographs" meant (at that time, in their opinion) "photographs of small objects reproduced at or about natural size".

So, it seems that either the 1889 edition captured the same concept in words that were less clear, or that someplace along the way, the editors of the dictionary reversed the definition. Given the conservatism of dictionary editors, reversal strikes me as unlikely, but who knows?

A puzzlement. Perhaps the next time I get close to a copy, I can check it out -- as of today, at least, there is one at Powell's Used Books in Portland Oregon.

--Rik
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DaveW



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting Rik,

If Deschin was first to define the term it would look like photomacrography simply is what we would mean today by puzzle pictures. That is where objects, or parts of them, are taken at an unusual size or angle and the viewer has to identify them!

However, the caption under the picture says "maximum enlargement on the negative" rather than being blown up by enlargement of the print and it is obvious the picture is above life size on the negative because the negative would have been from a larger format camera in those days, certainly larger than our present medium format I would have thought, at least quarter plate if not larger? The picture in the book is obviously a reduction of at least a quarter plate image and possibly a larger one.

The name Photomacrography anyway simply means "large photograph" and in Deschin's context this seems to imply images taken larger than life sized on the negative. The caption under the picture says "see chapter XIV" what does this say on the subject?


DaveW
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaveW wrote:
The caption under the picture says "see chapter XIV" what does this say on the subject?

The caption under the picture references the text that appears on pages 208 & 209, as shown in the first image of my post. Chapter XIV is titled The Long and the Short of It. It extends from pages 198 through 209. Its subsections are titled The Telephoto Lens, Telephoto in Portraiture, The Short-focus Lens, The Long and the Short, Camera Choice, Focusing, Foreshortening, Close-ups, and Photomacrography (reproduced above). By the way, the section on Close-ups is particularly unrevealing. It says, in its entirety,
Quote:
Close-up shots of such kitchen activities as a cooking pot of cereal may give the impression of a miniature volcano and many other subjects will be found which, when photographed at extremely close quarters, will reveal unsuspected possibilities.

You can see the tail end of this at the top of page 208, as reproduced above.

Regarding Deschin's Potato Patch illustration, you repeat what I already pointed out -- that his one example apparently uses a larger-than-life-size lens magnification. But one cannot infer a definition fron a single example. It takes either many more examples, or better yet, some words to go with them, and as I also pointed out, Deschin's words are explicit that it does not matter where the magnification comes from.

Given Deschin's explicit statement to the contrary, I do not understand the basis for your statement that "in Deschin's context this seems to imply images taken larger than life sized on the negative." Can you explain where that inference comes from?

--Rik
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DaveW



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was referring to what you had posted on Deschin and the only pictorial example given which must have been taken on at least quarter plate in those days, so was obviously an enlargement on the negative or plate of the potato.

DaveW
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While reading one of the old books referenced in Charlie Krebs' latest post, I ran into what claims to be the first & defining use of the term "photo-macrograph" Exclamation

It's in "THE A B C OF PHOTO-MICROGRAPHY / A Practical Handbook for Beginners", W. H. Walmsley, 1902, currently available online at Google Books as http://books.google.com/books?vid=LCCN02029905&id=T29KZKfdMTIC.

According to the index, "Definition of Photo-macrograph" is on page 87 (page 104 of the pdf file):
Quote:
Photo-macrography. Worcester defined Macroscopic or Macroscopical as "noting an object which, although comparatively minute, is visible to the naked eye or to the eye assisted by a pocket lens," -- usually an inch or more in focus and magnifying less than ten diameters. A delineation or picture of an object thus enlarged would be a macrograph, and if produced by the aid of photography, why should it not be termed a photo-macrograph? At all events I have chosen to coin that word and to define it as a slightly enlarged picture or delineation of a macroscopical object produced by means of a lens and sensitized photographic plate.

Earlier, on page 2 in fact, Walmsley introduces the concept as follows:
Quote:
Macroscopic denotes an object of minute proportions, but visible to the naked eye, or by means of a pocket lens, and does not require the use of a microscope. An enlarged drawing of such an object to the extent of a few diameters is termed a macrograph: if made by the aid of cameras, why not a photo-macrograph? There is an endless number of such objects, which may be enlarged by the aid of a suitable camera and photographic lens from one to about ten diameters -- the limit of a pocket lens of one-inch focus. I have ventured to coin the word photo-macrograph in this connection, and descriptions of the method of making them, together with illustrations, will be found in Chapter V, under Negative Making.

(The reference to Chapter V refers to the text I quoted first, from page 87.)

Most of Walmsley's discussion following page 87 explains that such magnifications are not compatible with the use of a projection eyepiece, but can be achieved by direct projection from the objective onto the photographic plate. It's interesting to note that earlier authors such as Spitta 1899 consider such images to be "low power photo-micrography". (See for example Spitta's Plate I Fig 5, showing an entire tortoise-shell butterfly, rendered at most only slightly larger than life-size.)

I rather doubt that finding Walmsley's definition will help settle whatever issue remains about the terminology.

I, of course, interpret Walmsley's words "slightly enlarged picture or delineation" as referring to the final image presented to the human, with a corresponding level of detail revealed. But reasonable people can differ about this, and I expect that they will. Wink

In any event, it's nice to push the chain of references one notch farther back. Very Happy

And I guess it's also clear that OED missed finding the first use in this case. Too bad -- I've always kind of idolized them, and it's a bit painful to find out that they're mortal too! Sad

--Rik
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DaveW



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rik,

The OED is always updating their references. They had a programme on British TV asking viewers to come up with the first printed use of certain words to update the dictionary. They simply ask for a photogopy of an earlier printed use than they presently have and the reference. I am sure they would be delighted if you sent them a photocopy of the relevant source you have found so their panel can consider it and embody it into the next edition of the OED.

DaveW
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaveW wrote:
Rik,

The OED is always updating their references. They had a programme on British TV asking viewers to come up with the first printed use of certain words to update the dictionary. They simply ask for a photogopy of an earlier printed use than they presently have and the reference. I am sure they would be delighted if you sent them a photocopy of the relevant source you have found so their panel can consider it and embody it into the next edition of the OED.

DaveW

An excellent idea, but I'm afraid that publication will be somewhat delayed. They are currently republishing starting from the M's, and POMANDER to PRAJNAPARAMITA was released in December 2006. Maybe next time... Very Happy

--Rik
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DaveW



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get yopur submission in now then Rik, you may not still be around when they get to PH again! Laughing

Seriously Rik, they do ask for the publics help and may be already starting to review the volumes recently published for the next revision. It would be a pity if your researches were lost just for the sake of sending them a photocopy.

There is a contact link here, you can probably just e-mail them a scan of the pages as an attachment. Just contact them anyway by e-mail and see if they are interested, you could even give them a link to this thread:-

http://www.oed.com/

Heres the form for you to fill in with your definition:-

http://www.oed.com/cgi/support/

All The best,

Dave Whiteley.
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Done...thanks for the nudge. Very Happy

--Rik
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