Posts Tagged exposure24

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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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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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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X-ray Finals

These images are the results of testing 3 methods of trying to capture and digitalise the awkward shapes of the ‘negatives’ given to me from my Orthodontics. To obtain these ‘negatives’ from the Orthodontics, I first asked a Hygienist Nurse friend of mine if it was possible to borrow them. She said it was possible as long as they were taken for a medical reason in the first place as they would not take images for the sake of an art course, and that I might have to pay to borrow them. I thought this was fair enough and so with this in mind and my wallet, I headed over to my Orthodontics. I approached the receptionist and asked if it was possible to borrow them and explained my project. She was unsure and so asked a senior receptionist who was more in a negative way of thinking I would not be able to. In the end the surgery manager was involved and she said it would be possible to borrow them since I did not require to keep them. However she stressed that they do not usually allow the x-rays out of the surgery back to the patients since the ‘negatives’ do not even belong to them nor me but to the NHS for documentation and ID-ing purposes. But first of all my file from 2007 had to be archived downstairs for them to be able to get them out, if they were not there then they would be stored in the loft where the surgery owner was the only one allowed for insurance purposes. It was pointed out to me that he would not be pleased about going up there.

In the end the ‘negatives’ were still archived downstairs and for me to keep them I had to sign a document saying a date the ‘negatives’ would be returned by hand and that I would not damage them in anyway with liquids or light.

Overall I am pleased with how these images have turned out with the amount of detail in the root part of the teeth as well as the different areas of the skull that have shown up. To print these big would be great and to shock the the audience with the sheer size presented to them to maximise the amount of detail you can see.

I decided to leave the scale in the top right hand corner of the side on image to give the viewer more information about me and to make it more personal.


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X-rays Attempt 1

Seeing the work of Nick Veasey and his use of X-rays, I got to thinking about literal portraiture of showing the human features in a form we can not see from the exterior in its detail. Therefore I was reminded of the time I had dental x-rays for some orthadontical work.

My first attempt at capturing the xrays was to use the main A3 flat bed scanner. The idea was to scan the xrays on the glass and then either crop down later or use a tool on the scanning software to crop to the image size required, after the preview and before the main scan. However the scan did not exactly come out in all of it’s detail nor colour. Furthermore the scanner picked up too much detail and showed up all the marks on both the negative and the glass being that the negative was too transparent.


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Gilbert and George

Gilbert and George photographed every body fluid they could of their own under a microscope, to create this piece. This might be to add to their previous pieces of anger, sex and decay that their mostly known for.

After leaving art school they had little money and little known fame. They decided to send friends and other people postcards inviting them to their performance of, say ‘Gilbert and George Drinking Tea’, and the friends would turn up and literally watch them drink tea. They then became the living sculptures. Other acts included singing and more drinking, be it tea or Gin. This idea then became photographs and other images.

The idea behind using blood, sweat, urine and other bodily fluids in their work came from the notion that we should accept ourselves in every way. Also whilst looking at their fluids under microscopes they noticed that they contained forms and shapes appearing like swords and daggers in the sweat. Furthermore it became about you and you is not just in the head or heart it is all over us, we are made up of it not just in certain areas and without these functioning we would not be alive.

Furthermore all of their artwork became visual letters, they were speaking to the viewer not just a composition, they are the subject of all our thoughts, trying to put their thoughts on the wall.

Consequently they decide to collect images of things that interest them both and then find the moral dimensions within to tell the story, rather than based on there aesthetic appeal. These images then go into an image bank where they are put in contact sheet form and put onto tables for them to see and order.


 In terms of organising the layout of their exhibitions they set out the images in a away that guides the viewer from room to room and within each room they create an emotional experience to the viewer so that the audience do not forget the image or display. The idea of forgetting an image displayed by the pair is seen as failure to them both, as in what’s the point of displaying something if the viewer is not going to remember the pieces afterwards.

The idea of the large scale pictures was a method of showing vast amount of small images in one big piece. Also the separate grid format made it easier for the pair to transport the collect around the world. Consequently this large piece grid format gave the pair a chance to have some control over the composition. This meant that the audience was not completely free to look around the image as they pleases. Therefore Gilbert & George could have some discipline and control over the emotions and feelings given to the audience as well as an order for it.


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Project Help Required

My interest lie within macro/micro photography and previous interest in the human body. Therefore for my Third Year photography final major project at Coventry University, I am interested in creating self portraits or general portraits comprised of close up images of:

  • cells
  • tissue
  • skin, mouth swabs
  • hairs
  • genetic structures
  • blood
  • saliva
  • bacteria

The images I have seen and would like to get are shown below.

However My need for help lies within access to the machinery to create such images and the know how knowledge of generally obtaining. Therefore if someone knows of any projects by research students, Medical personnel or a facility where I can create my images then could you please let me know, with the email address below, where abouts they are located so I contact them, or send them in my direction to see if they are available to help.

Thank you for your time.
My email is:

image from Warwick University website

image from Warwick University website


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