The Photography of John Brackenbury

A forum to ask questions, post setups, and generally discuss anything having to do with photomacrography and photomicroscopy.

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Harold Gough
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The Photography of John Brackenbury

Post by Harold Gough »

I did a search and found nothing in the forums. It is surprising if no previous mention has been made of such impressive work:

http://db2.photoresearchers.com/feature ... s=280&pf=1

Look at some of the images with enormous depth of field, from macro to infinity, a technique he has pioneered. See his book:

http://www.rotovision.com/description.a ... 8046-782-9

Harold
My images are a medium for sharing some of my experiences: they are not me.

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Great reference -- I'll have to get a copy.
enormous depth of field, from macro to infinity, a technique he has pioneered.
Can you briefly summarize what technique he is using?

--Rik

Harold Gough
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Post by Harold Gough »

rjlittlefield wrote:Great reference -- I'll have to get a copy.

Can you briefly summarize what technique he is using?

--Rik
From memory: a 4mm movie lens on a reversed wideangle (35mm?) lens on extension tubes, attached to a teleconverter attached to a camera body. The exposures are rather long (he said, forgetting the details). Lots of trial and error involved in establishing the settup.
Last edited by Harold Gough on Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
My images are a medium for sharing some of my experiences: they are not me.

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

OK, thanks.

Despite the unusual combination of lenses, that setup will still be subject to the usual tradeoff between magnification, DOF, and resolution.

The print can look sharp everywhere, while the unusual perspective makes the image memorable, but in the end that enormous depth of field comes at the cost of limited ability to resolve detail on the subject.

We can get into the physics later if you're interested. There's a lot of discussion already posted in the forum archives, but I have to run now and don't have time to make a list of the references.

--Rik

Harold Gough
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Post by Harold Gough »

If you look at his images, there is a softness about them, showing that compromise. They are , nonetheless, amazing. I hope to emulate them.
My images are a medium for sharing some of my experiences: they are not me.

Mike B in OKlahoma
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Post by Mike B in OKlahoma »

I've seen the book, and the pictures are indeed amazing, but it doesn't have much in the way of technical details. Awe-inspiring photos, but not enough information to persuade me to shell out my hard-earned shekels for it.
Mike Broderick
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Harold Gough
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Post by Harold Gough »

My images are a medium for sharing some of my experiences: they are not me.

Harold Gough
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Two-Lens Technique

Post by Harold Gough »

I have just recalled an image I saw, several years ago, in a magazine.

It showed a caterpillar having, apparently, taken a bite out of an apple, the apple on a reduced scale, relatively, so that the caterpillar was of about human size in relation to it.

This is how it was done. The apple, with its own lighting, was imaged by a lens (say, a 90mm) mounted, horizontally, on a tripod (no camera). The caterpillar was placed in the focal plane of the image from the 90mm lens, i.e. behind it. It had its own lighting and its image was captured by a macro lens attached to a camera and focused on the caterpillar and, unavoidably, also the focal plane of the 90mm lens, where its image of the apple was formed.

The alignment was such that the two images entered the camera together, at the same time. That is, the macro lens, in effect looked through the 90mm lens from behind it. Obviously, the apertures and lighting for the two components of the image were such as to give the correct exposure for the shutter speed.

Harold
My images are a medium for sharing some of my experiences: they are not me.

DaveW
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Post by DaveW »

Didn't Oxford Scientific Films do a similar thing in the 1970's with their "Ariel Image Bench" in order to put an in focus background behind their macro shots of insects etc?

DaveW

Harold Gough
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Post by Harold Gough »

DaveW wrote:Didn't Oxford Scientific Films do a similar thing in the 1970's with their "Ariel Image Bench" in order to put an in focus background behind their macro shots of insects etc?

DaveW
I don't recall that.

I know that they gave up trying to eliminate vibration from the camera shaking the subject. Quite the reverse! They made a linkage to pass all the vibration to the subject (it was probably a bit trickier than that in practice) and solved the problem!

Harold
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ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

I do recall that!
I remember being quite miffed because I'd "discovered" a technique then they went and spoiled it by showing marvellous examples.
I'd been using a slide projector, and two slide projectors, and a sheet fresnel lens, to play with darkfield pictures of sundews and venus flytraps with bugs silhouetted inside.
Then with a slide in the projector and the darkfield "stop" (black paper) replaced with something I could focus on, the background became interesting, then with the projector moved in, and focussed differently , more interesting again, and so on.
Somewhere I still have the zoom with gaffer tape glue on it, from where it had been fixed to a projector.

An intermediate stage, backlit subject, oof image background. Then move it round, closer, sharper, remove paper, etc.
WHite line is tracing paper, colors are some picture as projected from a slide.
Image

DaveW
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Post by DaveW »

I believe the motion picture industry has used aerial image technology for many years:-

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=lvUJ ... ch&f=false

This is a picture of Oxford Scientific's aerial image bench circa 1981. It could use both movie and stills cameras.

Image

Oxford used to make most of their own equipment as at that time they could not buy it since most was experimental and said they had more money invested in engineering machinery than photographic kit.

DaveW

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Post by ChrisR »

I think the Victorians got there a long time ago, for stage illusionists. Clever lot, they were.

PaulFurman
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Post by PaulFurman »

Harold Gough wrote:This website seems to have some leads:

http://www.naturfotograf.com/roll_your_own_lens.html
Interesting. That's got to be really stopped down too though, I would think.

It reminded me of the comment I made in the other thread about faking the background with a bug placed at the focus plane of freestanding lens & the camera with a macro lens... you'd need another lens in there to invert the aerial image again because it comes through upside down. Or get the bug to walk upside down :-)

DaveW
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Post by DaveW »

I think that is what Oxford Scientific did years ago with the Optical Image Bench shown Paul. They even used it to put a human in the background further away to reduce their size, with then a close up of what looked like a monster bug approaching them for these films where giant insects take over the world.

DaveW

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