Print Size + Final Image presentation.

In thought of Gilbert and George creating images that would imprint and last in the the viewers mind, I feel that printing my images big would also have the same effect, especially to the unnatural subject being captured within the frame. Therefore in agreement with the mentors discussing that my images should be printed big to give a sense of over powerment and being, as well as going along with my intended brief I decided I will print the two images 100cm wide and the smaller one 60cm. I feel 60cm is still big enough and yet not too big that it distorts the image in anyway still giving a clear and detailed enough image.

The image below is how my images will be presented. The cut out images are printed to scale as to how they will look on the wall of the exhibition and in relation to each other. I have decided to piece the images in terms of how they are in relation to the human body. For example the the eyes are higher than the teeth so this will go on top and above them in the order. However since the skin is all over the body this piece can go anywhere in the order but will go under the teeth since the teeth need to be near the eyes to make sense of my ordering ways.

Originally I wanted to use 5-6 images, 2 x-rays, 2 skin cells, one eye and one either hair or blood cells. However since the Hair and Blood cell images did not work out to plan I decided to only use one x-ray and one skin cell. There were already one of each going into the exhibition I thought it would look odd with the majority being only one topic of print. Therefore I chose the best one to show my point and discard the others. This consequently reduced my printing costs meaning I could afford to print bigger. Also it was an understanding from the talk between Paul and Suky, my mentor, that it would be best to print bigger to explain and exaggerate my point rather than having few image the same at a small size that would mean looking into at a close distance.

My images will be without a frame. This will because frames often narrow the audience to only look in between the frame edges, creating a border. Since the Skin is the largest organ in the human body I did not think it was fitting to using a border for it as it suggests that there is a ending for skin in the real world. Therefore without a border or frame the image can look on going with no end to the form, shape or pattern that it produces. Similar with the x-rays, our bones dont just stop at one point as well not matching the rest of the prints if only a few had a frame and the others did.

The images are printed on metallic paper to really make the colours pop as well as get the high silver content the paper contains to really make the xray image seem like a real xray that is on the wall. Since the images did not need frames they did not need some form of cardboard mount or picture wire to hang them. Therefore I went with Diabond backing to mount my work to. This is a light weight and rigid backing that will hold my prints in place without the worry of sagging or warping due to temperature that comes with the use of aluminum. To attach the images to the wall I will use batten mounts. These are wooden slats attached to the mount with one piece and then lock into another piece that is attach to the wall. They run along the majority of the image and so gives the appearance that the image is floating away from the wall. Also this to stops the image from distorting since it is adding support across the image.

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Printing size testing

Using the feedback gained from the mentors, it was apparent that my original idea of printing the images A3 was not going to do the trick and would make the series weak and not to its fullest potential. Therefore I decided to create a document containing crops of my 3 stronger images at different print sizes.

Testing Results

The 100cm prints came out a bit better than I originally thought, with the only issue being that the tissue on the right side seemed to lack definition and to me looked blurred. However this issue can be resolved in photoshop with some sharpening tools like unsharp mask.

One issue with the x-ray print was the high noise and grain value. The solution to this was to run noise reduction in Lightroom and to then also darken the blacks a little to make the noise less visible. I also sharpened the image a little to make sure the edges of the teeth were not blurred and were more defined.

My biggest issues with the eye images is the fact that these images were created with the original software at low sizes and so only given to me at 17.5cm each. Therefore I am keeping this image at 60cm to reduce the amount of quality lost. Once Paul had looked at my images he felt the eye looked slightly soft in focusing. I am not sure if this is due to the image being blown up in size or due to the machine and they way it focuses on my eye.

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Mentor Presentation Feedback

Today we presented our final pieces of work and our research to the mentors that have been following us this module. One of the key issues that came up in my presentation was the size of the final prints. Since I showed the presentation on a full screen projector, the image looked really good this big and could see all the detail within the skin cells and in the eyes. However the mentors thought it would still be good to see the images printed big in the exhibition than the A3 sizes I proposed to them. I stressed that I was not comfortable with printing the images over the A3 size as I felt it would distort the images and they would become blurred and unclear. On the other hand the mentors did not see any problems with blowing the images up bigger, even if they were below the resolution needed to print despite the printers only accepting the resolution of 300. The mentors also felt it would add to the images a little being that these were not straight pictures from a camera in the first place and people would expect some kind of quality loss coming from it. Furthermore our allocated space seemed to shrink every time we were told the size. Therefore I did not think it was possible to have two big prints fitting side by side into the space we were given, so I had to make the images smaller.

My original intention was to print the images around the A1 size and have around 5-6 images showing 2 xrays, 2 skin cell images, one eye image and one either hair or blood cell image. These images would be displayed by how they are related in the human body, so the eyes at the top but above them would be the hair as this is higher on the body and so on. However the general consensus was that there was no clear way of seeing how the images would work in this state without a model, despite being artists they could not visualise this?

As of yet I could not create a model until the images are finalised in their new size format.

My next stages from here are to act upon the mentors thoughts on print sizes and do a test strip of the final images I want to use at different sizes and all at 300 dpi. From this I will be able to check the detail within the images and see if they are suitable to print at the sizes I wanted.

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Hair

I did have a few hair samples that went under the same scanner as the other slides. However this did not work and either got stuck in the machine or just did not scan right as either the hair and oil mix was too thick. The senior technician tried to section the hair in a wax block but this still became too thick and did not work. I had to go back one day to give more samples for them to try a different tactic of leaving the hair in a solution for longer and then starting the wax block process again. However this did not work and was then told there was probably nothing more they could do since they do not really have the overall correct facilities to process hair on site and they usually send it out. Despite their best efforts there really wasn’t much more they could do and were not really willing to send the hair off to be processed due to their busy schedule and the logistics and logging that had to be for non medial analysis, which is fair enough they have helped me a great deal already.

The overall idea of the hair was to see inside of the piece of hair, right down to the outer wall of the strand and also the medulla that runs down the middle of the strand. The usage of the Medulla is still some what unclear and can sometimes not be present in some hair types.

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Blood Cell images

Today I got the scans back of the blood slides I created some time last week. I got the idea to do blood cells from the book Zooming In which featured a section of a group of red and white blood cells. Similarly I wanted to do a different take on what Gary Schneider did when he captured a dried blood drop. Where Schneider captured a dried spot and can sort of see how the blood drop is formed and what it is made up of I wanted to get right into the blood itself and see the cells and anything else that was hidden inside.

The scans came out great,  however one thing the University Lab did not do and did not tell was that I would need a cover slip on the slides to A) Protect them in transit as well as inside the scanner and B) Keep any solution needed to achieve higher magnification. Therefore some of the slides did manage to get damaged and

With the blood images I was goign for the more patterned look across the board, showing the repetition, forms of the cells, and the general knowledge of what our blood actually contains. Furthermore since blood type varies from person to person, the positions and the amount ratio of white blood cells to red blood cells is unique to the carrier, this images becomes a personal representation of the persons whose blood it is. Similar to that of Gilbert and George as well as Mark Quinn in which the art work becomes the sitter, it becomes a living piece of work, and to that, a personal piece of work that no one else can recreate in the same way.

However to get the images this close I had to zoom right in using the software, this is as far as it will go. On the screen it says it is beyond times 20 but not sure how far it has gone. Due to this, the output sizes of the images captured are limited to 772 pixels on the longest side giving really small print sizes as a final outcome. Therefore as much as it disappoints me I can not really use this as a final image to put up on the wall since blowing the image would severely distort the image and would make it non viewable.

What to find in blood slides

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Eye images

To get images of the back of my eyes I decided to go tot the local Specsavers in town and ask if it was possible. The store Manager told me that it would be possible, however the guy to do it was out on training and so I would have to phone back when I was ready to drop in to get it done. When I rang the next day it turned out the guy was in, but the machine was broken and unable to take images, so he said he would phone me back when the engineer had fixed the machine. A week or two passed without hearing anything. I decided to phone back and kept getting a receptionist telling me that the guy was either not working, gone home or was on training but will be in the next day. Eventually I got hold of the right person and he informed me that he had left a message for them to tell me that the machine was ready.

I decided to photograph the back of the eye after again seeing the work of Gary Schneider and listening to his interview of him mentioning photographing the retinas I decided to have a go. Also being a Photographer, the eye is an important piece of equipment to have naturally so therefore seemed fitting to try and photograph my own eye to A) see what it looks like and B) to make sure it is okay for me to keep shooting before my sight goes. Again each eye image is unique, some may have damaged areas if the eye that will show up differently on the images and would directly resemble and represent them.

I decided to stick the two eye images next to each other as this is how they would normally be seen, obviously as a pair. The black background was to make the eye pieces stand out with the deep reds and just a default background for me to use. I feel that with a white background the images might merge in with the background. Also with the metallic paper the black will reflect the viewer and some what simulate the eye exam where they look real close with a light and you see all the veins appear in front of you, brining association and a level of feeling apart of the piece into the audience.

To take the images I had to put my head in a support frame and then was told to look at a light in various directions. The camera itself is a normal Canon 5D Mark II strapped to the back of this fancy Nidek Machine.

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Paper Testing

My original idea was to use Kodak Metallic paper to simulate the 3D appeal of cells and tissues as well enchance the shapes forms within.

However discussing with Paul Smith about the paper types and final printing he sugguested some of the colour might be lost. Considering at least the skin cell images hold a lot of colour because of the staining, this lose of colour could be an issue and could take away the vibrance to my images.

Therefore I decided to do 10×8 inch test prints from The Print Space. One image would be of the cells and contain lots of colour, white and an area of which looks 3D and jumping out of the picture already. The second Image will be of a black an white x-ray.

The aim is to see the final colour output as well as over all quality across the board of colour and monochrome images.

To do the test prints I downloaded the Colour Profiles from their website and converted the images to the Kodak Metallic Profile within photoshop. A video explaining how to use the colour profiles from The Print Space can be found below.

Overall Cost: £12.30 x 2 = £24.60 (Actually came to around £20 after taking away one delivery charge)

Skin Cell/Tissue cost

X-Ray Cost

Below are the images in their Metallic Profile. The test prints are yet to come.

UPDATE 24th APRIL

After ordering the test prints on Friday (i forgot to bring an image to check on the screen Wednesday) I got my prints today, Tuesday 24th April. The prints themselves have a slightly glossy shine to them and a silvery look to them in a certain light and angle, which is more noticeable in the white spaces. The colours are still very bright and vivid, but just look a darker shade to me, although again this depends on what angle of light you are looking at the images from. However one downside to this paper is that it seems quite reflective especially in the darker areas. Hopefully to overcome this the darker images could be place higher up to not reflect the person viewing the image.

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Blood cell procedure

To go through the procedure of seeing the blood cells within me, I went to the Microbilogy department at Coventry University.

According to the booklet I was given the procedure of seeing the blood cells is a basic first year one. The whole process should only take a bout half an hour to get the specimens ready. To save time a technician made the stain (Giemsa) as she knew the solutions and measurements need to make the final product.

Equipment needed was a few slides, throughout science experiments you always make a few specimens incase of mistakes, spreading slide, a pencil to label the slides, anti-sceptic wipes, sot click lance, a peppetite, and lastely my Blood! I have kept a third slide separate to see if it can be scanned at the research area of the University Hospital. Since the technician said he might be able to stain it, I kept this slide unstained incase it was a different staining solution than the one used in the Microbiology Labs at the University.

Below is the soft click lance and an ant-sceptic wipe for afterwards to clean the pin hole wound.

The final result should be a thin layer of blood cells across the slide. The the layer is too think then the cells will over lap.

The next stage is to cover the slides in methanol and then Giemsa (Stainer). this stain will then bring up the cells up and have more contrast to the images.

The Slides are then ready to go under the microscope once the Stain has been washed off and the slides are dry.

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Resolution Testing

As mentioned in the Software Change post I was having trouble seeing if the resolution would be high enough to produce good quality prints. Therefore I decided to set up some final images to see if I could get the right resolution of 300 needed, and to see if the images basically looked good enough to put up as final images.

Therefore I headed over to the Univeristy print Beuro to have some test prints produced. These images were sized at the longest length of A3 and were matched to the resolution to 300. One image came in under the 300 at 276 DPI, therefore I still pushed it to 300 and at the A3 size to see if the minor gap made much difference. The majority of images came in over the 300 limit. Consequently these images will be exported through Lightroom to the resolution of 300 at the right sizes.

First of I managed to only have the short side of A3 measurements in my head, 297mm so i set the images to this size rather than the longest. This was too short and so I changed the sizes to the longest side of 420mm and reprinted one of the images.

The below image was one of the images that came in over the 300 DPI and resized to 420mm on the longest side.

Overall I was still surprised at how the images turned out and how much detail they could hold. Therefore I think it would be fine to print the images at the A3 size to show all of the detail.

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Software Method and Changes

To view the skin slide scans given to me from the University Hospital, I had to download some FREE software called Pannoramic Viewer, available from 3Dhistech.

This software has a feature to capture the part of the specimen I am viewing, be it magnified in or magnified out. To capture the section I desired all I had to was click the camera icon in the tool bar at the top and then click save.

Pannoramic Viewer

Image Capture – 3DHistech

However the problem with this software and method was that the output size of Image Capture was not high enough for my needs and only produced images at 1410 x 744 pixels, or about 4 inches across. This was totally not useful for my needs as I plan to print A3 or bigger. Therefore if I was to print the images any bigger the image quality would decrease dramatically.

Image Capture Dimensions

Since I was advised to use this software by a technician at The University Hospital, I emailed him to see if there was an alternative method within the software or a section to edit the output sizes. Unfortunately he did not know a way to change the output sizes but suggested I used a second piece of FREE software that might work. This software is called ‘Image Scope‘ made by Aperio.

Aperio – ImageScope

To start with this software still produced images at the same output size as the first piece of software by using the same technique. However a bit of Googling and searching through the software I came across a tool that can extract certain areas of the specimen I am viewing on the screen. This meant I could scroll to zoom in and out of the specimen and see more detail and then drag the cursor over the area in which I wanted to capture. The output sizes are a lot bigger than the first method. The only downsize is using the dragging over the area method means my image sizes are going to be an odd shape and not to the same ratio format as other images. Also the output size also seems to be at 72 dpi which is not suitable for printing.

Aperio – Extraction

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